'Monday Night Football' 3rd-and-short in time slot

ON THE AIR

October 05, 1994|By MILTON KENT

The most significant development from the Friday-to-Monday ratings is not what happened, but what didn't happen.

Specifically, ABC's "Monday Night Football" did not dominate the landscape, but actually placed third in its time slot, with its lowest ratings of the season.

Monday's Pittsburgh-Houston game on Channel 13 attracted a 12.1 rating and 20 share of the audience, according to Andre "Dr. Dre" DeVerneil, research director at Channel 13 and this week's official "On the Air" ratings supplier.

That's a pretty respectable number, but still behind an NBC movie "Someone She Knows" (17.7/26) on Channel 2 and the usual Channel 11 Monday night fare of an original "Murphy Brown" (20.3/28), a "Murphy Brown" rerun (18.3/25) and "Northern Exposure" (14.3/23).

Through the first four weeks of the season, "MNF" had been pulling in ratings in the 14 or 15 range and shares between 25 and 28, but Monday's Steelers-Oilers snooze-a-thon, which was over before halftime, apparently drove viewers to other places.

In other ratings developments, Sunday's Cowboys-Redskins game on Channel 45 got an 8.6/22, and the 4 p.m. game on Channel 45, Philadelphia-San Francisco, got a 9.2/19, beating Channel 2's Buffalo-Chicago offering, which attracted a 7.4/15.

Saturday's Maryland-Clemson game, a last-minute addition on Channel 13, was the college winner with a 5.6/19, beating Channel 2's Notre Dame-Stanford contest (5.1/14) and the late game on Channel 13, Georgia Tech-North Carolina State, which did a 3.0/8.

The paltry ratings on the last game, an ABC regional offering, seems to confirm the theory among local programmers that the only Atlantic Coast Conference team Baltimore fans are interested in seeing is Maryland.

Hoopin' it up

There's less than two weeks before official college basketball practices begin, but local stations already have started to firm up their winter men's basketball schedules.

Channel 13 will carry five games, independent of its commitments to the CBS schedule it will inherit in January, starting with a prime-time encounter between Duke and Michigan on Dec. 10.

Channel 54, previously a limited factor in the sports realm, jumps into the action with 17 regular-season ACC games, six in prime time, and the entire ACC tournament.

Maryland is scheduled for nine appearances on 54's schedule, including a prime-time matchup with North Carolina on Jan. 7. The Duke-North Carolina meeting at Durham will air on Feb. 2.

Heisman watch

ESPN announced yesterday it has reached agreement with New York's Downtown Athletic Club to televise the Heisman Trophy presentation for the next three years, wresting the show away from NBC, which had carried it for three years. The show will air live at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 for one hour.

Head for the hills

As if one Gifford, namely ABC's Frank, around January's Super Bowl wasn't enough, now comes word that his perky-beyond-the-bounds-of-normal-human- tolerance wife, Kathie Lee, will sing the national anthem before the annual Ultimate Extravaganza in Miami.

Before you despair, just remember that there is a bright side here.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue could have picked Kathie Lee's morning-show partner Regis Philbin. Or even worse, Tagliabue could have gone for Roseanne, the woman without a last name or appreciable talent.

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