This is to be expected, but it's worth noting that the Jets and Giants have been good for FOX, CBS and NBC so far this season.
The Giants and Colts drew a 13.8 rating for NBC Sunday night, with 23 million tuning in nationally. While the ratings were slightly down for Manning Bowl I, the game was up in viewership from their first contest in 2006 (14.3, 22.5 million viewers). The game drew a 17.7 rating in New York, up from a 14.4 for Week 1's win vs. Carolina, and was the top-rated broadcast on TV each week in other markets, including New Orleans and San Francisco.
The Manning Bowl II broadcast wasn't, however, the #1 rated game in town last week, as Jets-Patriots drew huge numbers in the market, while bonus coverage of Texans-Redskins beat everything with a 19.8 rating. Jets-Pats drew a 16.2 rating nationally, with 27 million viewers, CBS's highest viewed September game since 1987. The game was third-highest rated NFL telecast of the season behind Vikings/Saints opening night and the FOX regional coverage featuring Packers/Eagles during week one.
Local Hockey Teams Get Shuffled Around the Networks
MSG, with it's virtual monopoly on the lower-rated winter sports in the area (though it'll be interesting to see if YES can make some hay with Carmelo and the Nets this season) will have to juggle between the Devils, Rangers, Islanders and Knicks, though really it's the three hockey teams that will get the toss-around between MSG, MSG 2, MSG Plus and MSG Plus 2 this season.
The Rangers will broadcast 54 games on the main MSG Network this season, with the potential for two more should NBC not choose to flex them. Nine more games will air on MSG Plus, with 8 on MSG's alternate channel, MSG 2. VERSUS will also be airing seven games, and NBC has two broadcasts set for the Rangers. Largely the MSG Plus and MSG 2 broadcasts will occur when the Knicks - who have precedence over the Rangers - have a game on at the same time and night as the Rangers.
The Islanders have the most stability of the three clubs, as 61 of their games will air on MSG Plus, 19 on MSG Plus 2, with one game on MSG 2 and one on VERSUS. Clearly the team isn't optimistic about their lone NBC flex game, as they have it scheduled as an MSG Plus game even though it has that option.
The Devils have perhaps the most intriguing schedule of the three clubs. Only 49 of their games will air on their standard network, MSG Plus. 17 will air on MSG, the regular channel, with 12 on MSG Plus 2 and four on VERSUS. The additional MSG games for the Devils is a clear response to their increased ratings from last season that had them seventh in the league in viewership numbers. It is also likely a sign of the Devils discontent with their MSG/Cablevision deal, which was mentioned at the Jersey Tour stop I attended a month ago. That said, maybe the Isles should throw some complaints in there too. With Ilya Kovalchuk and some added TV exposure, this looks to be a breakout year for the Devils.
New York-area hockey schedule: