The Washington Post

Kornheiser: Redskins will play five primetime games in 2013

By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post.

As noted earlier this week, the Redskins-Cowboys Week 17 tilt was the NFL’s highest-rated regular season primetime game in 15 years.

(Also, Sunday’s local broadcast of “Redskins Postgame Live” on Comcast SportsNet earned a regular-season record 2.25 household rating in this market, equal to about 53,000 households. That’s for a 90-minute postgame show, at 11:30 on a Sunday night, on a station that didn’t even broadcast the game. And it did better than your average Wizards or Caps game.)

Now, a lot of this was because that game was essentially a playoff game. And a lot of it was because of the Cowboys — of the 10 highest-rated NBC primetime games, after all, seven have involved Dallas.

But there also seems to be a sense that the Redskins are now a primetime attraction.Which led to this argument from Tony Kornheiser — a former primetime NFL attraction himself — on ESPN 980 Wednesday morning.

“You have to be on a primetime game at least once during the year — every team has to — and you’re allowed a maximum of five,” he said. “Teams like Dallas get five every year. It doesn’t matter if they lose to Seattle — the Redskins will have five primetime games [in 2013]. They will have two Monday Night games, probably two Sunday night games, and a Thursday. That’s what they’re gonna have.

“That’s what they’re gonna have, because of No. 10,” he continued. “It’s because of him. People want to see him. You’re crazy if you’re a programmer not to put them on. If you put Seattle on, you say well they’ve got Russell Wilson. That’s sweet. But he’s not a guy, in and of himself, making the needle move. Griffin makes the needle move.”

The Skins, of course, had two primetime games this season after their finale was flexed, plus the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas. Eight teams were scheduled to have five primetime games: the Broncos, Eagles, Steelers, Chargers, Packers, Bears, 49ers and Giants.

Kornheiser and Kevin Sheehan speculated that if Denver wins the Super Bowl, the Redskins could open the NFL’s season in Colorado with a Thursday night game, which seems accurate. Then they talked about the massive local ratings for Sunday’s game.

“Sixty-eight percent of the sets in use?” Tony marveled. “That’s Beverly Hillbillies [ratings], that stuff from 40 years ago. How’d the Caps do? How have the Caps done this year? Have the Caps done well this year? Because I know a lot of people like to Rock the Red. You could Rock the Red from now until the end of time; doesn’t seem like you could rock it like rocking the old Maroon and Black.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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