San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) high-five fans on his way back to the team locker room after defeating the Green Bay Packers 37-8 at Levi’s Stadium last Sunday in Santa Clara. (Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)

On Sports Media: Why isn’t 49ers-Ravens in a better time slot?

Niners and Ravens are darlings of the NFL, but not enough to flex them to a late afternoon game

Today at 10 a.m. on FOX, two of the best teams in the NFL will meet at a sold-out M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The 9-2 Ravens will host the 10-1 San Francisco 49ers in what NFL pundits from coast to coast are calling a Super Bowl preview. Despite this being such a tasty regular-season game, the NFL did not see fit to even flex the game to a late afternoon slot but to leave it as a 1 p.m. ET kickoff. FOX, though, is not complaining.

The prime early game will be seen by most of the country, and FOX is assigning its team of Kevin Burkhardt on play-by-play, Charles Davis as analyst with Pam Oliver on sideline duties.

Yes, my friends, the network hype machines are rolling from ESPN, CBS, NBC and FOX, as all the network shows both on television and radio are acting like there are no other games being played. It really started a week ago on a perfect Sunday evening in the Bay Area, with NBC in town to telecast what was being called the showdown between the two best teams in the NFC.

The national audience and an announced crowd of 71,500 fans watched at Levi’s Stadium as the 49ers played an almost perfect game in disposing of the Green Bay Packer 37-8. About 24 hours after the 49ers game was over, and 384 miles down I-5, the Ravens were making a statement of their own.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens dismantled the Rams in Los Angeles 45-6 to improve their record to 9-2. By Tuesday morning, NFL.com, CBS Sports, ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports and almost every other NFL Power Rankings outlet had the 49ers number one and the Ravens close behind at number two.

The ratings for both the Sunday night game on NBC and the Monday night game on ESPN were beyond impressive. NBC logged in with a massive 4.8 rating with an audience of 17.33 million viewers, making it the highest-rated Sunday Night Football game since 2015 and the top rated show on TV this week. Meanwhile, ESPN Monday Night Football topped all the weekly cable ratings with 11 million homes and it was the most-watched show Monday night on both cable and broadcast.

So, after a long holiday weekend we will all sit back and see if the game lives up to all the hype. Pre- and post-game coverage will be on FOX2 and NBC Sports Bay Area.

Also, the Raiders will have a big game on KPIX CBS 5 at 1:25 p.m. against the Chiefs in Kansas City. That game gets the top CBS broadcast crew with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on the call.

KPIX will have postgame coverage.

Channel Surfing

Golden State is on the road today for a 3 p.m. tip in Orlando against the Magic. Monday, they are in Atlanta for a 4:30 p.m. tip against the Hawks. Wednesday, the Warriors face the Hornets at 4 p.m. and then they close out the road trip Friday in Chicago against the Bulls at 5 p.m. As always, all broadcasts are on NBC Sports Bay Area with Warriors Pre and Postgame Live coming before and after each telecast.

NFL

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