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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Sun., April 26-30) -- delfated ratings for NFL draft on opening night of May "sweeps"

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The NFL’s annual meat market, which started Thursday, again coincided with the first night of the May “sweeps” ratings period -- as it did last year. Otherwise there was no comparison. The first round of the draft got sacked in the D-FW Nielsen ratings compared to 2016’s picks and pans.

ESPN, barely removed from a firing squad that took out 100 employees earlier in the week, averaged 174,506 viewers while the NFL Network pulled in 58,169. Last year’s totals were 240,802 viewers for ESPN and 99,154 for NFL Net.

The draft also took a big hit in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic. ESPN averaged 80,178 viewers for its coverage, down from 152,434 last year. The NFL Net drew 25,657 compared to 47,636 last year. In football-crazy North Texas, these are pretty remarkable downturns.

Thursday’s biggest overall ratings draw, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, had 298,115 total viewers and 96,213 in the 18-to-49 realm (second to the entire combined draft averages on ESPN/NFL Net).

OK. let’s jump to the most recent D-FW numbers -- for Sunday night. CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of NCIS: Los Angeles led all prime-time attractions with 276,302 total viewers while NBC’s Little Big Shots and Chicago Justice and ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos shared the 18-to-49-year-old lead with 57,728 viewers apiece.

On Saturday, TEGNA8’s 10 p.m. local newscast, which focused on the tornadoes that hit the Canton area, had that day’s largest audience with 247,217 total viewers. (Your friendly content provider was still in Florida and did not see the local coverage first-hand.)

Friday’s top draw again was CBS’ Blue Bloods with 232,675 total viewers; NBC’s Dateline drew the most 18-to-49-year-olds (44,899).

On Wednesday, Fox’s Empire led in both ratings measurements with 254,489 total viewers and 80,178 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are the Wednesday-Friday local news derby results.

Wednesday -- On the eve of the May sweeps, NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 won among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to the Peacock in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 notched the first 10 p.m. sweeps win in total viewers and tied NBC5 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 scored twin wins at 6 a.m. and NBC5 again swept the 5 p.m. competitions. NBC5 and TEGNA8 shared the 6 p.m. lead in total viewers while Fox4 won outright among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Friday -- NBC5 ran the table at 10 p.m. and Fox4 notched another pair of 6 a.m. wins. TEGNA8 continued to make some early morning noise in the early going of the sweeps by placing a solid second in both ratings measurements. On Thursday, TEGNA8 also ran second in total viewers while tying NBC5 for the runner-up spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

TEGNA8 won in total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. The 25-to-54 golds went to NBC5 at 5 p.m. and Fox4 at 6 p.m.

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