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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 18-20) -- NFL again flexes might

Sunday's AFC and NFC championship games reigned with an iron fist in the D-FW Nielsens, although one fell just shy of the magic one million mark.

The CBS late game -- Baltimore's upset over New England -- averaged 1,039,514 viewers while Fox's afternoon encounter between victorious San Francisco and Atlanta drew 984,441 viewers. The audience for Ravens-Patriots was larger than three of the regular season's 16 Dallas Cowboys games.

CBS now will get a subtext "Harbaugh Bowl" matching head coach brothers John and Jim in the Feb. 3rd Super Bowl. Strap network execs to lie detectors and they'd have to admit that a face-off between the 49ers and New England's Brady Bunch is what they preferred. But this isn''t a bad marketing angle: Brother vs. brother in an East-West Coast blood feud.

On Saturday night, the long-delayed season opener of the NHL's Dallas Stars had 68,842 viewers on Fox Sports Southwest. Friday's OT thriller between the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder didn't exactly light the ratings flame either, drawing 68,842 viewers on FSS and another 55,074 on ESPN.

In contrast, Friday's top prime-time draw, a 9 p.m. episode of CBS' Blue Bloods, had 316,673 viewers. An hour earlier, the series finale of Fox's Fringe lured 137,684 viewers, less than half the crowd for CBS' competing CSI: NY (289,136 viewers). Fringe won its time slot, though, among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

A prime-time edition of WFAA8's Good Morning Texas was Friday's overall loss leader in both ratings measurements among the Big 4 broadcasters. It had just 20,653 viewers, with 3,189 of them 18-to-49-year-olds.

In Friday's local news derby results, CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers and tied Fox4 for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 continued to roll merrily along at 6 a.m. with a doubleheader sweep. The station also ran the table at 5 p.m. and added a 6 p.m. win in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m.