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The Boise Of Fall: ESPN Sees Big Numbers For BSU-VT Game Monday

Boise State's Win Over Virginia Tech Draws
ESPN's Highest Labor Day Rating

ESPN earned a 6.8 overnight Nielsen rating for Monday night’s Boise State-Virginia Tech game from 8:00-11:45pm ET, up 21.4% from a 5.6 overnight for Miami-Florida State on the same night last year. The 6.8 rating marks the net’s best Labor Day college football game overnight dating back to ’90 (six primetime games in that time). The game also led ESPN to a win on Monday night among all nets. Meanwhile, ABC earned a 2.8 overnight for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game Saturday night featuring LSU-North Carolina, down 33% from a 4.2 overnight for the comparable Alabama-Virginia Tech matchup last year and down 30% from a 4.0 for Alabama-Clemson in '08. The net Saturday afternoon earned a 2.7 overnight for regional action in the 3:30pm ET window, highlighted by Connecticut-Michigan. That overnight is down 21% from a 3.4 overnight in the window last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside noted NBC averaged a 2.3 overnight rating for its telecast of Saturday's Purdue-Notre Dame game, up 77% from a 1.3 overnight for last year's Nevada-Notre Dame regular-season opener (USA TODAY, 9/7).

THE BEST OF THE BEST: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit is the "best analyst of any sport on television." Herbstreit is the "reason to watch" ESPN's "College GameDay" because of his "incredibly vast knowledge of the sport and how easily he makes his points in a conversational and intelligent manner." Jones: "While watching 'GameDay,' you can't wait until it's Herbstreit's turn to talk again. He's outspoken but never unreasonable." Meanwhile, Herbstreit's game analysis is "so good that even [Brent] Musburger has become enjoyable again" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/6).

FOXY START: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht wrote FSN's crew of Bill Jones, Dean Blevins and Elissa Walker Campbell "turned in a network-quality performance" during the net's PPV broadcast of Saturday's Utah State-Oklahoma game that was "definitely worth $40 for the viewers who tuned in." Jones, Blevins and Walker, all OU graduates, "didn't let their background with the university affect their analysis." Meanwhile, FSN "also earns kudos for one of the best offseason changes, moving former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt out of the studio and into the broadcast booth." Klatt has the "potential of being one of the best analysts in the game, and turned in some excellent commentary" during the net's broadcast of Saturday's Washington State-Oklahoma State game (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/5).

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