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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Sept. 14-16) -- Cowboys up, but with an asterisk

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A stout defense and improved play by QB Dak Prescott led the Dallas Cowboys to a 20-13 win over the division rival New York Giants on NBC’s national Sunday Night Football stage.

The Game 2 audience of 1,428,693 D-FW viewers and 599,155 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range were both improvements over last year’s second matchup. But as with Week 1 of this season, an asterisk is in order.

Last year’s 42-17 pasting on Fox at the hands of the Denver Broncos was delayed after it started by lightning in the Mile High City. The game didn’t resume until an hour later, stretching it into 40 minutes of direct competition with CBS’ Emmy Awards telecast., which began at 7 p.m. Unclebarky.com subtracted that one-hour delay from the game’s final ratings, leaving Cowboys-Broncos with 1,316,060 total viewers and 525,964 in the 18-to-49 realm.

On Saturday night, TCU and Texas went to head-to-head in their respective games versus Ohio State (on ABC) and USC (on Fox).

Playing in Jerry’s Palace inevitably provides a ratings boost, and TCU-Ohio State ran with it. The Buckeyes’ 40-28 win over the Horned Frogs, which ended at 10:48 p.m., averaged 391, 716 total viewers. The Longhorns’ 37-14 thrashing of the Trojans, which ran a bit later until 10:59 p.m., averaged 213,663 viewers. TCU-Ohio State also outdrew Texas-USC among 18-to-49-year-olds, although it was closer.

In Friday’s comparatively listless prime-time Nielsens, Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast had the most total viewers (142,442) while ABC’s 7 p.m. repeat of Fresh Off the Boat was the night’s top 7 to 10 p.m. draw among 18-to-49ers (31,206).

Here are Friday’s four-way local news derby results.

TEGNA8 got back into the winner’s circle by sweeping the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 in turn swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. races while adding a 6 p.m. win among 25-to-54-year-olds. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

The 6 to 7 a.m. hour, where Fox4 hasn’t lost a single weekday in either measurement since Good Friday, ended up with particularly lopsided returns in the 25-to-54 demographic. Fox4 drew 94,122 in this age range while NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11 had a combined 52,943 viewers.

TEGNA8’s Daybreak has established itself as the clear second choice among 25-to-54-year-olds, but its 32,354 viewers on Friday were barely one-third of what Fox4 drew.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net