I was working on my Week 4 NFL game viewability rankings over at This Given Sunday when I noticed something interesting. CBS gets crushed by FOX. I mean, blown out of the water.
Now, FOX has somewhat of a natural advantage right now, because the NFC probably has more Super Bowl contenders and is stronger in general than the AFC. FOX, of course, has all Sunday afternoon NFC games, CBS has all Sunday afternoon AFC games. When the two conferences meet, FOX gets NFC road games and CBS gets AFC road games.
This week, four highly-entertaining NFC teams (the Seahawks, Eagles, Giants and Cowboys) are on the road against three solid AFC teams (the Texans, Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers). Robert Griffin III and the Redskins are also in Oakland, which is more intrigue for FOX.
So FOX only loses the 0-3 Vikings to CBS while gaining the Cinderella 3-0 Chiefs, the dominant 3-0 Broncos and the high-flying Texans, as well as the Chargers and Raiders. The result:
CBS on Sunday…
(2-1) Ravens at (1-2) Bills
(2-1) Bengals at (1-2) Browns
(2-1) Colts at (0-3) Jaguars
(0-3) Steelers at (0-3) Vikings
(2-1) Jets at (2-1) Titans
Their top play-by-play team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be doing that battle of winless teams, mainly because there are no other options and because that game is being held in London, which means very little to American viewers. The combined record of the teams on CBS Sunday is 12-18. The best matchup, on paper, is Jets-Titans.
And on FOX Sunday…
(3-0) Bears at (2-1) Lions
(3-0) Seahawks at (2-1) Texans
(0-3) Giants at (3-0) Chiefs
(1-2) Cardinals at (0-3) Buccaneers
(1-2) Eagles at (3-0) Broncos
(0-3) Redskins at (1-2) Raiders
(2-1) Cowboys at (1-2) Chargers
There are five games on that list that are better than the best game CBS will be broadcasting. The combined record of those teams is 22-20, but the 0-3 Giants and Redskins are still big draws, the 0-3 Bucs are starting a brand-new quarterback and the 1-2 Eagles are extremely exciting. It's a landslide victory for FOX.
It could have been worse. FOX missed out on Thursday's Rams-49ers game, which went to NFL Network. But CBS really got screwed, especially because they would have had the Sunday afternoon rights to the Patriots-Falcons Sunday nighter and the Dolphins-Saints Monday nighter.
Four AFC teams are 3-0 and CBS gets to broadcast zero of their games this weekend. That's rough.