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Media Views: Chiefs have become a mainstay on St. Louis television | Football


It’s not exactly “Chiefs Kingdom” in eastern Missouri, but the Kansas City Chiefs have firmly planted a foothold on St. Louis television.

They have an exciting team that is rolling and as many Chiefs games have been televised in the Gateway City — all seven of them — as in their home market across the state.

And the ratings results locally have been favorable. To wit:

• Their contest on Oct. 1 in Denver is the highest-rated ESPN “Monday Night Football” telecast of the season to date in St. Louis. Nielsen, which tabulates viewership, reports that 7.6 percent of homes in the market with a TV tuned in. The next-best figure is 6.2, for the San Francisco-Green Bay matchup on Oct. 15. The seven “Monday Night Football” telecasts not involving the Chiefs, including a doubleheader in Week 1, have averaged a 5.2 rating. So KC has done 38 percent better than those.

• The Chiefs have played twice on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” and they have the Nos. 1 and 3 ratings in St. Louis among the seven games in that package that have been shown. Their contest on Oct. 14, in New England (Kansas City’s only loss), generated a 13.4 rating. KC’s blowout last Sunday of Cincinnati pulled an 11.4 rating. (New England-Detroit, on Sept. 23, was between those, with an 11.7 rating). The Chiefs’ two Sunday night appearances have averaged a 12.4 rating locally. The five in which they haven’t played are at 9.8. The Chiefs thus have outperformed the rest by 27 percent.

• The Chiefs have had three noon games on Sundays, averaging a 7.3 rating in St. Louis. The nine other noon telecasts are at 6.4, making KC’s figure 14 percent better than the rest. They also have played once in the late Sunday afternoon slot (3:05 or 3:25 p.m.) and had their worst performance of the season in that one. It was on the opening weekend of the season and they drew a 5.4 rating for the contest, against the Chargers. A telecast of the Dallas-Carolina contest overlapped much of that one and it pulled a rating of 8.5.

Because the Chiefs are in the AFC, CBS has the bulk of their Sunday afternoon games and its local affiliate (KMOV, Channel 4) has shown them three times and will do so again Sunday when Kansas City faces Denver, at noon.

KMOV has been on their network for exhibition-game telecasts in each of the three seasons since the Rams left St. Louis, and also airs “Chiefs Rewind” at midnight Sunday. That’s a show wrapping up the team’s game that week, or if it is playing on Monday night previewing that contest.

Channel 4 general manager Mike Murphy said the Chiefs now are the station’s go-to team.

“When we have the opportunity to air the Chiefs, that is our first pick every time,” he said Thursday. “We’ve gone back on (what CBS wanted us to take) a couple times, we said, ‘No, we want to go with the Chiefs.’”

CBS generally adheres to its affiliates’ requests in such cases.

For instance, a week from Sunday the Chiefs play AFC Central basement-dwelling Cleveland. It’s a CBS game, at noon, when the network figures to send the Pittsburgh-Baltimore contest to most of the nation. But KMOV will want the Chiefs — as it will the following week when they entertain Arizona, which is 1-6.

“If they’re (on CBS), we’ve got ’em,” Murphy said. “We don’t really get any complaints from any viewers when we air Kansas City” instead of another game. “But I imagine if we didn’t air it, we’d probably get a lot of complaints. You only hear about it when you’re doing something wrong.”

Then they will be on the following week, when their showdown with the currently undefeated Rams will be shown nationally on “Monday Night Football.” That’s Nov. 19.

It helps KMOV that the Chiefs play in a lot of high-scoring games, in addition to being 6-1.

“We like the Chiefs and we like winners,” Murphy said. “So we’re swimming in both pools.”

A heavy load of Chiefs telecasts in St. Louis is nothing new, as they are the most-frequently televised team in the market since the Rams bolted. Kansas City was on 13 times in 2016 and 15 last year, and the one game that wasn’t shown from the start was picked up late in the contest because the one being shown was a blowout. This year, they will have been on eight times after this weekend, making it 36 of 40 games overall in the post-Rams era in St. Louis.

Their overall rating in St. Louis this season (8.5) is up over last year (7.7) and on par with what they did in 2016, when they also were at 8.5.

NFL ON TV

Upcoming NFL games on TV locally:

8:30 • Eagles vs. Jaguars, in London, NFL Network

Noon • Broncos at Chiefs, KMOV (4)

Noon • Seahawks at Lions, KTVI (2)

3:25 • Packers at Rams, KTVI (2)

7:20 • Saints at Vikings, KSDK (5)

7:15 • Patriots at Bills, ESPN

7:20 • Raiders at 49ers, KTVI (2), NFL Network

Noon • Chiefs at Browns, KMOV (4)*

Noon • Lions at Vikings, KTVI (2)*

3:25 • Rams at Saints, KTVI (2)*

7:20 • Packers at Patriots, KSDK (5)

* Nov. 4 afternoon scheduled tentative

7:15 • Titans at Cowboys, ESPN

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