Sports Media Digest- September 11, 2012

NBC Sees Record Ratings for Steelers/Broncos Sunday Night Tilt-  NBC Sports officially reported today that the ratings for its premiere Sunday Night Football (SNF) telecast featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos was the highest SNF telecast ever on the network.  The 16.5 national rating was NBC’s highest regular season primetime game ever while the auidence of 27.57 million viewers was the second highest ever.  Both the rating and the viewership numbers were up 8% and 7% repectively over the 2011 SNF opener (Cowboys/Jets).

CBS Sees Improved Viewership of U.S. Open Tennis Finals-  CBS Sports reported today that Sunday’s Women’s Final of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship garnered an audience of 17.7 million viewers who watched all or part of the match.  That number is the  highest in ten years.  The Men’s Finals on Monday was watched by 16.2 million viewers who watched all or part of the match.  That is the highest in five years.  Viewership for the men was up 37% from a year ago while the women’s match is up 35% from 2011.

Final Round of BMW Championship the Best for NBC in the History of the FedEx Cup Playoffs-  NBC continued to get impressive viewership for its coverage of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.  Sunday’s final round of the BMW Championship earned NBC a 2.5 overnight rating, the best round of the tournament since the FedEx Cup Playoffs began in 2007 and 150% above a year ago.  NBC’s Saturday coverage of the tournament earned a 1.8 rating, up 125% over 2011.The Golf Channel also saw significant ratings gains for its early round coverage and Saturday and Sunday lead-ins.

CBS Announces Primetime Schedule Delay on NFL Double Header Sundays-  With CBS getting the NFL double header game for the first time this Sunday, the network has announced that its regular Sunday primetime schedule will be shifted 30 minutes to accommodate the new 4:25p.m. ET kick-off.  The night will begin with 60 Minutes beginning at 7:30p.m. ET.  All other CBS programs on double header Sundays will shifted 30 by at least 30 minutes.

College Gameday Travels to Knoxville This Weekend-  ESPN will be taking its College Gameday program to Knoxville Saturday in anticipation of this week’s Florida/Tennessee match-up.  College Gameday begins at 9:00a.m. on ESPNU and 10:00a.m. ET on ESPN.  Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, and host/reporter Samantha Steele will be on site.

Next Episode of Sports Illustrated on NBCSN Tomorrow Night– The second episode of Sports Illustrated on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will debut tomorrow night.  The hour-long program, which airs at 9:00p.m. ET, will feature Daron Roberts, West Virginia University cornerbacks coach; Mike Powell wrestling coach for Oak Park and River Forest High School (Oak Park, IL) and Aazar Abdul-Raheem Head Football Coach for Washington D.C.’s Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fox Sets Traffic Records for August–  Fox Sports today announced that Fox saw record traffic numbers for August.  The network attributes its coverage of the Summer Olympics as the reason for the 45 million unique visitors who stopped by Fox, Yardbarker, and  Fox also saw a total of 1.5 billion page views and 31.3 million video streams for the month.

Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup Begins this Weekend on ESPN–  The 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins this weekend on ESPN at the Chicagoland Speedway.  Live coverage of the race begins with NASCAR Countdown at 1:00p.m. ET Sunday.  Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, and Andy Petree will be on the call.  Jarrett and Petree will join Marty Reid on the call Saturday at 3:00p.m. ET for the Nationwide Series race from Chicago.

Women’s British Open this Weekend on ESPN-  ESPN will have four-round coverage of this week’s Women’s British Open from Royal Liverpool Golf Club.  ESPN2 and ESPN3 will three hours of golf Thursday through Sunday beginning at  9:00a.m. ET.  Terry Gannon will lead the network’s coverage along with Judy Rankin and Andy North.