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Bills, Sabres, Fox and morning news plans are on pre-Thanksgiving menu

More leftovers BEFORE the Thanksgiving holiday:

Bills 43, Sabres 6.

That was the score, eh, rating difference when the two Buffalo professional sports teams last played on the same night, Nov. 12.

There undoubtedly will be a lot of switching between the games -- especially during commercials -- tonight but the ratings gap may be even bigger because the Bills are playing the NFL’s defending Super Bowl champions and quarterback Tom Brady on Monday Night Football in a game simulcast by ESPN and Channel 7. The Sabres are playing St. Louis at home, which means 18,000 or so potential fans will be in seats at the First Niagara Center instead of in front of the sets.

Of course, this Bills game has playoff implications and each of the 16 regular season games are more important than any one of the 82 Sabres games, especially those early in the season.

The Sabres do have the advantage of starting almost 90 minutes earlier tonight.

But ratings for Bills games generally have averaged six or seven times the ratings of Sabres games this season even with the hockey team sporting an improved product led by rookie Jack Eichel.

Speaking of Eichel, I had one concern after watching the cute "Beyond Blue and Gold feature" that he appeared in with the family of landlord, Matt Mouslon, during an intermission of a game carried by MSG last week: His diet. Eichel seemed to enjoy the kind of cookies, ice cream bars and snacks that any 19-year-old loves. I don’t begrudge him a double-stuffed cookie or two, but professional athletes usually are told to eat healthy foods.

Fox has announced that it no longer will report overnight ratings of its series and instead report viewing three to seven days after they originally air. It is in keeping with a recent comment by CBS chief executive officer Les Moonves that overnight ratings don’t matter.

The Fox plan is good news for local affiliate WUTV, which on some nights doesn’t get an overnight rating for some Fox series above a 1. On Nov. 10, Fox’s “Grandfathered," “The Grinder” and “Scream Queens” didn’t even hit a 1 rating on WUTV and the two comedies are being called hits. On Nov. 17, none of the trio hit higher than a 1.6 rating on WUTV.

I continue to hear that one of Channel 7’s newest hires, Ali Touhey, may be the choice to anchor the weekend morning news when the ABC affiliate gets in the game sometime early in 2016. The station has been late to the party. Channel 2 and Channel 4 already have early morning weekend newscasts that will be difficult to get viewers away from.

You may have read that as the public gets more used to streaming shows, the networks eventually may no longer need affiliates like Channel 4, Channel 2 and Channel 7. I can’t see that happening for awhile since the networks own a number of affiliates themselves. Besides, older viewers are more likely to watch network shows and they are less likely to learn how to stream shows.

One of my preseason bets for success, NBC’s “Blindspot,” has become the first freshman show of the season to be renewed for a second season.

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