NBC hopes to retain the ratings power of its Sunday Night Football franchise, unveiling today the 19 NFL games it will show in primetime for the 2012-13 season. The lineup kicks off Wednesday, September 5 when the Super Bowl champion New York Giants host their division rival — and TV favorites — the Dallas Cowboys. On September 9, Peyton Manning makes his first start with his new team, the Denver Broncos, at home in a match-up with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season’s first Sunday night game. Former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow makes his first appearance on SNF when his new team the New York Jets hosts the New England Patriots in the first Thanksgiving night game. NBC will broadcast a Thanksgiving game each season through 2022 as part of its new NFL agreement. Here’s the full SNF schedule: READ MORE »
UPDATED: The NFL said that this is the longest TV deal ever for the league’s broadcast rights. Although terms weren’t disclosed today, the total package for America’s most popular sport is now estimated at $7 billion (counting earlier cable-rights deals with ESPN and DirecTV). That’s even more than the lofty increases some were expecting. The NBC contract solidifies the network’s flagship Sunday Night Football and includes a primetime game on Thanksgiving. The CBS agreement provides it access to AFC and NFC games for the first time in the same season. The networks will continue rotating the Super Bowl broadcasts; NBC is up next this season. “The agreements would not have been possible without our new 10-year labor agreement and the players deserve great credit,” NFL commissioner Roger Goddell said. “Long-term labor peace is allowing the NFL to continue to grow, and the biggest beneficiaries are the players and fans.” The league also plans to add to the number of Thursday night games carried by the NFL Network, but how many has yet to be decided. Here are the releases announcing the deals, starting with NBC:
NEW YORK – December 14, 2011 – NBCUniversal today agreed to a new and extensive media rights agreement to extend its NFL rights package through the 2022 season. The new agreement includes many enhancements that broaden the exposure of NFL content on NBC, and across other NBCUniversal platforms.
“This is a great day for NBCUniversal and the NBC Sports Group. There is no more powerful programming on television than the NFL and no better program than Sunday Night Football. The long-term agreement announced today provides us with significant enhancements to our existing NFL package, ensures that we will continue our partnership with the NFL for many years, and adds tremendous value to the many assets of NBCUniversal. We could not be more pleased,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal.
“Sunday Night Football on NBC is the most-watched program on primetime television, and we’re excited to continue our long-term partnership with the NFL,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “The new primetime Thanksgiving game starting in 2012, the upgraded playoff package and the three Super Bowls are all major enhancements to our new agreement. The additional digital and programming rights add tremendous value to the NBC Sports Group portfolio.”
This new and extensive media rights agreement includes many enhancements vs. the previous agreement:
ABC’s Once Upon A Time is looking a little less magical these days. Airing in the 8 PM hour, which has been impacted by viewer erosion due to holiday shopping, the fairytale drama hit a series low for a third consecutive week with its fall finale last night. It posted a 2.9/7 in adults 18-49, down 9% from last week. Proving once again that movies — original or theatrical — don’t do well on broadcast TV, ABC’s rebroadcast of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory posted a soft 1.3/3 from 9-11 PM.
The broadcast season unofficially kicks off tonight. And just like in a kids board game, the youngest of the networks, the CW, got to start first, unspooling its new series Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Also launching tonight are the new seasons of the CW’s 90210 and NBC’s Parenthood, marking the unofficial start of the new season, which kicks in on Monday. Here are the networks’ standings going into the fall season:
With Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies on tap for baseball’s postseason this year, along with the heavily promoted The X Factor and new big-budget dinosaur drama Terra Nova, Fox is in a position to significantly outperform last fall when the network carried the National League Championship Series and had two DOA shows, drama Lone Star and comedy Running Wilde. The question marks at the network this fall are the new comedies, New Girl and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, though both are propped up by solid lead-ins, Glee and X Factor, respectively, and whether Glee and House can rebound after a disappointing 2010-11 season. If the stars align and X Factor lives up to its ratings expectations, Fox may win the fourth quarter as it did two years ago when it also had the American League Championship Series and the highly rated freshman season of Glee.
Fox’s main rival for the top spot in the fall will be the epitome of stability, CBS, which will get a ratings boost from the re-launch of Two and a Half Men. The consensus is that CBS has potential breakout hits on its hands with new Monday comedy Two Broke Girls, which is launching behind the much-hyped return of Two and a Half Men, and possibly Thursday drama Person of Interest. The network is getting high marks for taking its aging series such as the CSI franchise and Survivor and relocating them to troubled spots on the schedule that they shore up. The network is expected to accomplish that again this season with the mothership CSI series, which is moving to Wednesday 10 PM, with its replacement on Thursday, Person of Interest, looking to do at least as well as CSI if not better. The only question marks at CBS are new Thursday 8:30 comedy How To Be a Gentleman and where Men will settle after the initial ratings spike.