Behind The Mic: Despite Buzz, Giants To Still Reign As Top TV Draw

On the Giants and Jets as NFL ratings draws in 2010. Plus: WFAN Beats ESPN

Everything surrounds the Jets this season. At no time in my life has there been a so-called "team of destiny" that bestowed such a moniker on themselves to this degree. You think the Jets are meant for a title, they think it even more than you, and they want you to think it has much as them. That, combined with the allure of 'Hard Knocks' (the season finale of which drew more than a million viewers, the best numbers for the series since 2002) has made the Jets an attractive television pick this season, drawing a league-high three appearances for Monday Night Football on ESPN (Monday's opener vs. Baltimore, Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota and Dec. 6 at New England), with an additionally scheduled game on NBC's Sunday night broadcast (Sept. 26 at Miami), who can flex them further into the schedule should they desire in the last six weeks of the season.

Yet, forgotten in all of this are the Giants, who will receive just as much prime time treatment as Gang Green in 2010. While they'll only have the one guaranteed appearance on ESPN's Monday show (Oct. 25 at Dallas), they've been penciled in three times on Sunday Night Football for NBC (Sept. 19's Manning Bowl rematch, Oct. 3 vs. Chicago, and Nov. 21 vs. Philadelphia). Even with the Giants in a bit of a limbo phase, only one of these games can be flexed out (the Eagles game) and the Giants are still allowed one more appearance on the Peacock.

It isn't just limited to prime time. Fox will send most of the country (59%) to the Meadowlands Stadium opener of Giants-Panthers this week, while both teams will spend a lot of time in the coveted 4 p.m. ET national window that FOX and CBS alternate week to week. In addition, it's likely the Giants, still the more popular of the two New York football teams, will outdraw the Jets ratings-wise even with a mediocre season.

Regardless, it speaks to the love of football and the history and buzz of our two local teams that the first time neither team will air a game on Sunday or Monday night is Week 6, and nine weeks out of the season will see either the Giants and Jets in prime time on NBC, ESPN or NFL Network. 

Prediction: New York Football TV Schedule

(This is a helpful guide to the games that we'll be able to see this season on the various networks. After Week 1, however, games are subject to change). 

Week 1

Sunday, Sept. 12

Giants vs. Panthers, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Bengals vs. Patriots, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Packers vs. Eagles, 4 p.m.  ET (Fox 5)

Cowboys vs. Redskins, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Sept. 13

Ravens vs. Jets, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN/My 9)

Chargers vs. Chiefs, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 2

Sunday, Sept. 19

Bears vs. Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Ravens vs. Bengals, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Patriots vs. Jets, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Giants vs. Colts, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Sept. 20

Saints vs. 49ers, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 3

Sunday, Sept. 26

Titans vs. Giants, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Cowboys vs. Texans, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Colts vs. Broncos, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Jets vs. Dolphins, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Sept. 27

Packers vs. Bears, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 4 

Sunday, Oct. 3

Jets vs. Bills, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Panthers vs. Saints, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5) 

Redskins vs. Eagles, 4:15 p.m. ET (Fox 5) 

Bears vs. Giants, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Oct. 4

Patriots vs. Dolphins, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 5

Sunday, Oct. 10

Giants vs. Texans, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Chiefs vs. Colts, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Titans vs. Cowboys, 4:15 PM ET (CBS 2) 

Eagles vs. 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4) 

Monday, Oct. 11

Vikings vs. Jets, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/My 9) 

Week 6

Sunday, Oct. 17

Lions vs. Giants, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Jets vs. Broncos, 4 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Cowboys vs. Vikings, 4:15 p.m.ET (Fox 5)

Colts vs. Redskins, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4) 

Monday, Oct. 18

Titans vs. Jaguars, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 7

Sunday, Oct. 24

Steelers vs. Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Eagles vs. Titans, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5) 

Patriots vs. Chargers, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2) 

Vikings vs. Packers, 8:20 PM ET (NBC 4) 

Monday, Oct. 25

Giants vs. Cowboys, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/My 9) 

Week 8

Sunday, Oct. 31

Packers vs. Jets, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Jaguars vs. Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Vikings vs. Patriots, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2) 

Steelers vs. Saints, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4) 

Monday, Nov. 1

Texans vs. Colts, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Week 9

Sunday, Nov. 7

Jets vs. Lions, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Giants vs. Seahawks, 4 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Colts vs. Eagles, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Cowboys vs. Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4) 

Monday, Nov. 8

Steelers vs. Bengals, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Week 10

Thursday, Nov. 11

Ravens vs. Falcons, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Sunday, Nov. 14

Jets vs. Browns, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Vikings vs. Bears, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Cowboys vs. Giants, 4:15 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Patriots vs. Steelers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Nov. 15

Eagles vs. Redskins, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 11

Thursday, Nov. 18

Bears vs. Dolphins, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Sunday, Nov. 21

Texans vs. Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Packers vs. Vikings, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Colts vs. Patriots, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Giants vs. Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Nov. 22

Broncos vs. Chargers, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 12

Thursday, Nov. 25

Patriots vs. Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Saints vs. Cowboys, 4:15 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Bengals vs. Jets, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net/My 9)

Sunday, Nov. 28

Jaguars vs. Giants, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Eagles vs. Bears, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Rams vs. Broncos, 4:15 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Chargers vs. Colts, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Nov. 29

49ers vs. Cardinals, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 13

Thursday, Dec. 2

Texans vs. Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Sunday, Dec. 5

Redskins vs. Giants, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Bills vs. Vikings, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Cowboys vs. Colts, 4:15 PM ET (Fox 5)

Steelers vs. Ravens, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Dec. 6

Jets vs. Patriots, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/My 9) 

Week 14

Thursday, Dec. 9

Colts vs. Titans, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Sunday, Dec. 12

Giants vs. Vikings, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Patriots vs. Bears, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Dolphins vs. Jets, 4:15 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Eagles vs. Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Dec. 13

Ravens vs. Texans, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Week 15

Thursday, Dec. 16

49ers vs. Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Sunday, Dec. 19

Eagles vs. Giants, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Bills vs. Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Jets vs. Steelers, 4:15 PM ET (CBS 2)

Packers vs. Patriots, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Dec. 20

Bears vs. Vikings, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 16

Thursday, Dec. 23

Panthers vs. Steelers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Saturday, Dec. 25

Cowboys vs. Cardinals, 7:30 p.m. ET (NFL Net)

Sunday, Dec. 26

Jets vs. Bears, 1 p.m. ET (CBS 2)

Vikings vs. Eagles, 1 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Giants vs. Packers, 4:15 p.m. ET (Fox 5)

Chargers vs. Bengals, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC 4)

Monday, Dec. 27

Saints vs. Falcons, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 17

Bills vs. Jets/Doubleheader, TBD (CBS 2)

Giants vs. Redskins/Doubleheader, TBD (Fox 5)

Sunday Night Football, TBD (NBC 4)

WFAN Continues Domination over ESPN 

There are few constants in sports media, but one of them remains: 1050 ESPN Radio is miles away from ever thinking of taking over the granddaddy 660 WFAN.

In fact, the Clear Channel-owned FAN had it's worst numbers since March, before the baseball season began, and still more than tripled the numbers of their Disney rivals. WFAN scored a 3.0 average rating for August 2010 and averaging 1.8 million listeners. The station was down 10% from it's 2 million listener average from April-June, and down 6% from their July total of 1.9 million. It was the lowest numbers they'd had since March of this year, before regular season baseball began and when WFAN averaged 1.2 million listeners.

As for ESPN (WEPN-AM), after drawing 1 million listeners for the first time also summer in July, August brought on a paltry average of 0.9 and 695,700 listeners, a drop of 34%. 1050 was down even from their numbers in March (0.9, 705,200 listeners). After steadily growing all summer, ESPN Radio saw it's audience get tripled by 660 in August.

On Long Island, it was more of the same, with WFAN dominating ESPN and scoring a 3rd-overall in the market 5.4 rating to WEPN's 1.0. 424,000 listeners in Nassau and Suffolk alone tune into Mike Francesca, Boomer Esiason and company, versus only 118,300 for Michael Kay and the gang. On LI, WFAN was actually up from last month's 5.3, while ESPN was down from July's 1.2. Also, in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties in Jersey, FAN strolled with a 3.4 (up from 3.0 in July) against 1050's 0.5 (down from 0.6) with another hefty viewer victory, 147,000 to 42,000 for 660. 

In the overall rankings among all New York radio stations, WFAN finished 13th and WEPN was 25th. The 1.8 million listeners still gives WFAN the most of any Sports station in the country, with the next highest being 670 AM (WSCR) in Chicago finishing just ahead of 1050 ESPN's numbers.

(Source: All Access/Arbitron

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