It's Tua Time: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — Oct. 20

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These are the stories shaping sports and business for Tuesday, October 20th, 2020.

It's Tua Time

It’s Tua time in Miami with some questions about timing from the Dolphins. The fins are making the switch to their rookie QB, following their bye week but while they are sitting at 3-3 and with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick playing fairly well so there will be a lot of anticipation for Tongavoila’s starting debut against one Aaron Donald and the Rams.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys continue to lead the NFC East despite not playing well at all. The Cowboys were beaten soundly by the Cardinals 38-10 on Monday Night Football with Andy Dalton in for the injured Dak Prescott at QB. Nevertheless the Cowboys 2-4 record is good enough to keep them atop their hapless division.

Coronavirus Update

According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 40.5 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 1.1 million deaths.

The U.S. has surpassed 8.1 million cases with 220,000 deaths.

Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 57,148 new cases reported Monday, which is higher than the 48,922 cases reported the day earlier. 1.2 million new tests were reported. And 456 deaths were reported yesterday, which is higher than the 393 deaths reported the day prior.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said that the U.S. government could authorize emergency use of the company's experimental Covid-19 vaccine in December if Moderna gets positive interim results in November from a large clinical trial, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Speaking Monday at the Journal’s annual Tech Live conference, he said, however, that if sufficient interim results from the trial take longer to get, government approval of the vaccine may not occur until early next year.

Moderna has been a front-runner, along with Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

NFL Week 6 Ratings

While NFL games are consistently the top-rated shows every week across television, the league’s tentpole Sunday Night Football game is experiencing a sharp rating decline.

The NFL Sunday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and LA Rams garnered 9.43 million viewers overnight.

Television ratings aren’t an exact science so I asked NBC for their numbers, and, including streaming, the network pulled in 13.1 million viewers.

While that number was once again enough to top all other competitors by a wide margin, that’s down from the more than 15 million people who watched last week.

According to Sports Media Watch, eight Sunday Night Football games in 2019 had more than 20 million viewers and just two finished with fewer than 17 million viewers. So far this season, not a single game has cracked 20 million six weeks into the season.

NBC reportedly pays about $950 million annually for its NFL rights, which is below the $1 billion the NFL gets from Fox and the $1.1 billion CBS pays.

Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg and TheStreet's Tony Owusu contributed to this report.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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