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Bills Rate High; CBS Announcers Not So Much


This is what I’m thinking:

Not even the brutal announcing of the CBS team of Spera Dedes and Steve Beuerlein could keep Buffalo Bills fans away from their TV sets on Sunday afternoon.

How brutal were they? About as brutal as the NFL replacement officials, who became the lead story on NBC’s “Today” this morning over the presidential race. The officials got the “Today” spotlight after they botched the end of Seattle’s last-second victory over Green Bay Monday night on a ridiculous ruling about the position of a Hail Mary pass.

But I digress. Back to the viewership of the Bills game. The Bills 24-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns had a season-high 35.4 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate. That means 35.4 percent of WNY households were tuned in.

It will be tough to top this Sunday against the New England Patriots because 70,000 potential viewers and several ratings points will be in the Ralph.

 To put the Bills rating in in perspective, it was more than three times as high as the rating for the prime time Emmys ((10.7) on Channel 7 Sunday. New England’s last second lost to Baltimore in NBC’s prime time game also beat the Emmys easily with a 14.0 rating.

The local football audience also was high for the finish of Kansas City’s overtime win over New Orleans and the New York Jets overtime win over the Miami Dolphins, with Channel 4 getting more than a 23 rating in the hour after the Bills game ended. All those viewers have decided they can live without The Red Zone Channel.

Needless to say, those fantastic finishes didn’t help Channel 7’s post-game Bills show, which aired at the same time. The post-game show had a 1.8 rating, which was by far the best showing of the three post-game programs. That means about 95 percent of the people watching the Bills game on Channel 4 weren’t watching the post-game show, which also has to compete with WGR radio’s post-game show.

Channel 7 also delays carrying Coach Chan Gailey’s post-game press conference, which Sunday had special interest because of the expected update of running back C.J. Spiller’s injury.  I’m wondering if  WGR, the Bills radio rights-holder, has the right to carry the press conference first. This Sunday,  Channel 7 didn’t have video of Gailey when he spoke, which made it seem like radio.

Speaking of CBS’  announcing team, I might have to start a petition drive to send to CBS to keep Steve Beuerlein off of any more Bills games. The analyst changes his mind more than a politician speaking to different audiences and – as Howard Cosell used to say — has “a firm grasp of the obvious” when it comes to analysis.

It was more painful to listen to Beuerlein during the Bills-Browns game than it was watching Spiller get injured. Beuerlein constantly had an opinion on a play, then changed his mind after seeing a replay. He was more inconsistent than Bills qb Ryan Fitzpatrick can be on a bad day.

Let’s hope Dedes gets a seat by a window the next time he calls a Bills game so he can see what is happening. He constantly was wrong on first downs and other crucial things that viewers could see with their own eyes.

Is WECK radio is up for sale? My spies tell me that based on an item in a site called Radio for Sale that had this posted about a Buffalo station: “The Queen City is the 56th market, but it is #41 revenue. We have an excellent AM signal with an extremely well-engneered FM translator. The FM reaches over 750,000 people… IF it were a full FM it would be valued at over $3 million. The Price for the full-time AM with FM translator is $2.3 million.”

According to my spies, the only AM station that qualifies for that description is WECK, which currently carries a music format called “The Breeze.”

The same site lists for sale an upstate New York AM station that has been under local ownership for more than 25 years that my spies speculate is WLVL out of Lockport. The asking price is $495,000. WECK and WLVL are locally owned by Dick Greene.  

Had to laugh when I read a story in Saturday’s Buffalo News about two new Channel 2 on-air staffers. I wrote about the hiring of Jonah Javad a month earlier and the hiring of Jeff Preval a week or so earlier. I suspect the paper may eventually get around to reporting that Joe Arena might soon be leaving Channel 4. or WECK may be up for sale. If you don’t want to wait for The News to cover media stories, then stilltalkintv is the place  to go. But you probably know that.

Three new network shows premiere tonight in prime time. I recommend “The Mindy Project,” a cute, off-beat comedy about a romantically-awkward doctor written and starring Mindy Kahling of “The Office.” I also recommend CBS’ “Vegas” only if you want to see Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis chew the scenery as a Las Vegas cowboy-sheriff and mobster, respectfully, in the 1960s before everyone in WNY headed to Vegas annually. My favorite Quaid line: “I am the law here and I will decide who is breaking it.”

I’m not a fan of “Ben & Kate,” the somewhat crude Fox comedy about a childish, idiotic, romantically-challenged older brother (he would be played by Will Ferrell or Ed Helms in the movies) who is protective of his waitress sister and her precocious daughter. But it somehow has gotten some great reviews that the network is promoting so you might want to give it a try. After all, I am not the law here.


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