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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Dec. 14-16) -- Cowboys-Steelers surprisingly slow on draw

Despite a storied rivalry and a spine-tingling OT win by the Cowboys, Sunday afternoon's game against the Steelers came nowhere near being the season's top draw.

And that's even with a generous spot from your friendly content provider.

The CBS telecast began at 3:25 p.m. and lasted until kicker Dan Bailey's game-winning field goal at 6:50 p.m. Nielsen Media Research measures in 15-minute increments, so we'll start the clock at 3:30 p.m. instead of 3:15 p.m. Under those parameters, Cowboys-Steelers averaged 1,177,198 D-FW viewers with a peak audience of 1,349,303 for the final frenetic minutes. (If the clock is started at 3:15 p.m., the overall audience average falls a bit to 1,156,546 viewers).

The crowd for the Cowboys' 27-24 win exceeded the game-long average of 1,108,356 viewers for last Sunday's buzzer-beating win at Cincinnati. But Cowboys-Steelers surprisingly fell short of both the Thanksgiving Day loss to Washington (1,301,114 viewers) and the Dec. 2nd home win over Philadelphia (1,218,503).

Both of those opponents are longstanding East Division rivals. But the Cowboys and Steelers go way back, too, including match-ups in three Super Bowls. And Sunday's game was hugely important to both teams in terms of their chances to make the post-season.

The season high crowd is still the 1,348,046 who watched the Sept. 5th NFL "kickoff" game against the Giants in prime-time on NBC.
Cowboys-Steelers falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.

NBC's wintery mix, high-scoring, marquee matchup of the Patriots and 49ers ran second in football ratings with an average of 516,315 viewers Sunday night.

Fox's lone game, the noon-starting drubbing of the Giants by the Falcons, drew 330,442 viewers while CBS' competing Texans-Colts match-up had 261,600.

in Friday's ratings, CBS' 7 p.m. reprise of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer won its time slot with 144,568 viewers.

CBS11 director of communications Lori Conrad notes that the station had 1,930 "likes" on its Facebook page after posting a note to viewers that read: "After such a tragic day, CBS11 is proud to have some great holiday family programming you can watch with your whole family, starting with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at 7 p.m. Plus, we pledge you will not see any news messages or promos from CBS11 regarding today's shooting during this 7-9 p.m. block. So please hug your children extra tight tonight and join us for some quality family time on CBS11 tonight."

In Friday's four-way local news derby numbers, WFAA8 ran the table at 10 p.m. with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. The station likewise swept the 5 p.m. competitions.

Fox4 ran first at 6 a.m. in total viewers and tied WFAA8 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds. The 6 p.m. winners were CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.