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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Dec. 19-21)

The Cowboys' Saturday night horror show against Baltimore suffered a ratings downturn as well. Playing in unfamiliar haunts on a big holiday party night didn't help.

The game averaged 943,306 D-FW viewers on CW33 and added another 305,578 on the NFL Network. That's a total of 1,248,884 viewers, well below the 1,574,391 who watched the Cowboys beat the Giants on the previous Sunday and also short of the 1,474,746 fans for the Dec. 7 loss to the Steelers.

Still, it's a windfall for CW33, which appreciates your business. On the previous Saturday night, the station averaged fewer than 50,000 viewers for its prime-time programming.

Sunday's ratings also were dominated as usual by pro football matchups. NBC's prime-time Giants-Panthers game, in which New York secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs, averaged a nice-sized 524,797 viewers. Fox's preceding Eagles-Redskins game was close behind with 511,511 viewers. And CBS's earlier Steelers-Titans tilt drew 292,292 viewers.

In Friday's local news derby, WFAA8 ran first at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 swept the 6 a.m. ratings and Fox4 did likewise at 5 p.m.

The 6 p.m. golds were split, with WFAA8 on top in total homes while Fox4 finished first with 25-to-54-year-olds.