ESPN Rides NFL to Weekly Win


While The Walt Disney Co. decided whether to pull the trigger on renewing its primetime packages with the National Football League, ESPN rode the strength of its NFL coverage Sunday night to capture last week’s primetime-ratings crown.

The total-sports network -- which, along with broadcast brethren ABC Sports, has not yet inked new deals with the NFL for its Sunday- and Monday-night packages -- averaged a 2.3 mark from Nov. 8-14.

ESPN was led by basic-cable’s highest-rated show of the week: the 6.2 scored by the network’s presentation of the New England Patriots’ blowout of the Buffalo Bills Sunday night.

USA Network tackled a 2.0 to finish second for the period, according to a Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Drama proponent Turner Network Television and all-news leader Fox News Channel were tied for third with 1.9 household marks, ahead of the 1.8 recorded by retro-sitcom purveyor Nick at Nite.

Next there was a three-way tie at 1.6 among Lifetime Television, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel.
Rounding out the top 10: TBS with a 1.4 and Spike TV with a 1.3.