On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
January 19, 2007

The Eagles won't win the Super Bowl this year, but they can take solace in the fact that they are the television ratings champions.

According to the Eagles' public relations department, during the regular season, an average of 892,000 households watched the weekly Eagles games — twice the NFL average of 446,000 households. The highest-rated, regular-season games were Week 5 vs. Dallas (1.168 million) and Week 17 vs. Atlanta (1.058 million).

The Eagles' average rating of 30.4 is 19 percent above the NFL average among all markets. Chicago is the other market with comparable ratings. Chicago averaged a 55 share, and the Eagles averaged a 54 share.

More than one million households in the Philadelphia TV market watched the Eagles' playoff games against the Giants and Saints. The Saints game earned a 42.0 rating/63 share, and the Giants game earned a 44.2 rating/63 share.

In Philadelphia, each rating point is equivalent to about 29,000 households. Share measures the percentage of televisions tuned in to a show.

Who cares?

Fox29, which carries the NFC playoff games, is losing lots of advertising revenue this week without an Eagles game.

Instead of a guaranteed 40 rating, it will be lucky to get half of that with the NFC championship game between New Orleans and Chicago at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The pre-game show with Joe Buck, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson will air at 2 p.m. The best part of last week's pre-game show was comedian Frank Caliendo's impression of “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney, who correctly predicted the Saints' win.

New England plays Indianapolis in the AFC championship game at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call the action.

WPEN doesn't rate

The Arbitron radio ratings were released last week, and once again WIP 610-AM is easily beat SportsTalk 950-AM. For listeners 12 and over, WIP 610-AM was in 15th place with a 2.7 share, and SportsTalk 950 was in 28th place with a 0.5 share.

In the male 25-54 demographic that both stations covet, WIP was ranked in the top five and SportsTalk was ranked 21st, except for Jody McDonald who was in 14th place.

Since McDonald joined SportsTalk last fall, he's worked seven days a week. He also hosts on ESPN 1050-AM in New York City on the weekend. With those SportsTalk ratings, McDonald better not give up that extra job.

Thunder renew radio deal

The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced a new three-year deal with Millennium Radio New Jersey to keep all Thunder radio broadcasts, regular season and postseason, on WBUD 1260-AM through the 2009 season.

WBUD-AM has served as the home of the Thunder radio broadcasts since the 2004 season. At the end of the new agreement, the Thunder and Millennium will have the longest radio tenure in the history of the franchise.

All broadcasts will start with the Thunder Insider Pre-Game Show, a 30-minute show before home games and a 20-minute show prior to road games, and conclude with the A-1 Limousine Post-Game Show, a 15-minute report after each game.

Off the air

“Quite Frankly” with Stephen A. Smith was canceled by ESPN2. Smith will continue to contribute to the other ESPN shows such as “SportsCenter.” Quite frankly, how does Smith feel that his show got the ax, but “Cold Pizza” survived?

January 19, 2007 7:05 AM