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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Dec. 20-22) -- comeback Cowboys fall back below a mil

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A classic rivalry and a last-minute do-or-die touchdown throw by Tony Romo kept the Dallas Cowboys in play for the NFC East title Sunday.

But the 24-23 win over the Washington Redskins nonetheless became only the third Cowboys game this season to fall below an average of one million D-FW viewers.

Playing a noon game on a down-to-the-wire Christmas shopping/party day likely had something to do with this. The previous Sunday’s collapse against Green Bay surely didn’t help either.

Whatever the contributing factors, Cowboys-Redskins (12:03 to 3:04 p.m.) averaged 958,676 viewers on Fox, with a peak audience of 1,214,322 between 2:45 and 3 p.m. Only the Cowboys’ Sept. 22nd rout of the St. Louis Rams has fared worse, with an overall average audience of 943,135 viewers. The recent Monday Night Football drubbing by the Chicago Bears also hit the sub-one million mark with 994,182 viewers.

Airing opposite Cowboys-Redskins, CBS’ telecast of the Denver Broncos-Houston Texans game was barely visible with 85,216 viewers. CBS’ New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens matchup then super-bounced to 561,003 viewers. NBC’s Sunday Night Football face-off, in which the Philadelphia Eagles demolished the Bears, drew 489,990 viewers. The Cowboys-Eagles game for the NFC East title already has been “flexed” by the NFL to Sunday Night Football, depriving Fox4 of another big pay day in D-FW.

Also in prime-time Sunday, ABC’s three-hour telecast of the original Sound of Music movie had 134,925 viewers.

Saturday was mostly one big ratings valley in prime-time. Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast was the runaway biggest draw with 156,229 viewers. But the late night Nielsens were lit up by Saturday Night Live’s Christmas show, hosted by Jimmy Fallon with musical guest Justin Timberlake. It had 347,964 viewers.

CBS’ swept Friday’s prime-time ratings with a lineup of a colorized I Love Lucy Christmas show (142,026 viewers), Hawaii Five-0 (220,140) and Blue Bloods (241,444). NBC’s annual reprise of It’s A Wonderful Life had 127,823 viewers. ABC’s 9 p.m. edition of 20/20 was prime-time’s most popular draw with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, pulling in 68,391.

In Friday’s local news derby competitions, CBS11 edged WFAA8 for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. But WFAA8 dominated among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and WFAA8 had a 6 p.m. sweep. NBC5 stayed strong at 5 p.m. with a win in total viewers and a first-place tie with WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

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