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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Sept. 9-11) -- Cowboys kick off with three downers

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Last year’s miracle 27-26 opening day win against the New York Giants now seems like a misty, water-colored memory after a 20-19 loss Sunday marred by receiver Terrence Williams’ game-ending skid marks.

Williams’ decision to stay in bounds and deprive the Dallas Cowboys of a last-ditch chance to win the game with a Dan Bailey mega-length field goal ended matters with a thud at 6:25 p.m. on Fox. And despite the much-heralded debuts of rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the game also fell below last September’s Game 1 crowd in the D-FW Nielsen ratings.

Cowboys-Giants averaged 1,444,810 viewers compared to 1,485,462 for the Cowboys-Giants opener in 2015. That’s a relatively minor drop. Of more concern is the fall-off among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, with the Cowboys drawing 600,207 viewers to fall more than 90,000 viewers shy of last year’s 690,682.

Those are still giant-sized numbers compared to the Texas Rangers-Los Angeles Angels Sunday afternoon crowd of 63,742 total viewers and 19,054 in the 18-to-49-year-old age range. Fox Sports Southwest had the game, with the first-place Rangers still firmly in command of the American League West after losing 3-2 in a game that marked starter Colby Lewis’ return after a long stay on the disabled list.

In prime-time, NBC’s Sunday Night Football opener between the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals averaged 502,850 total viewers and 273,110 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. ABC’s competing Miss America pageant, in which judge Mark Cuban’s facial expressions have become a social media “thing,” went down for the count with 134,566 total viewers and 47,636 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Earlier at 7 p.m., Fox slipped in a sneak preview of its new hybrid comedy series, Son of Zorn, in the half-hour following the network’s NFL coverage and before NBC’s kicked in. It got strong sampling with 311,626 total viewers and 187,366 in the 18-to-49 sweet spot. But the second 15 minutes of Zorn in both cases fell off significantly from the first.

Saturday’s college football parade was paced by TCU’s crazy overtime loss to Arkansas, which aired at night on ESPN. It pulled in an average of 191,225 total viewers. ABC’s prime-time matchup of Tennessee and Virginia Tech ran well behind with 70,824 viewers.

On Friday, the 7 to 8 p.m. Stand Up For Cancer simulcast on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC had a combined audience of 141,648 total viewers. NBC’s two-hour Dateline then drew a larger crowd all by itself with 148,730 viewers.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 fell just short of an exceedingly rare double grand slam. The Peacock won at 6 a.m. and at 6 and 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). NBC5 also had the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 p.m., but was edged in total viewers by Fox4.

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