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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 8) -- feeling a draft

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The NFL draft ran roughshod through prime-time and beyond Thursday, beating everything in its path except CBS’ The Big Bang Theory in total D-FW viewers and outscoring all programming among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

Round 1 of pro football’s meat market ran from 7 to 10:45 p.m., with live coverage on ESPN (which relegated two NBA playoff games to ESPN2) and the NFL Network.

Interest peaked locally between 8:45 to 9 p.m., when the Dallas Cowboys bypassed Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and instead chose guard Zack Martin from Notre Dame. During that 15-minute increment, the draft drew 411,875 viewers on ESPN and added another 142,026 on NFL Net. The grand total of 553,901 viewers is the highest for anything telecast so far in the May “sweeps” ratings period (April 24-May 21).

More than half the audience from 8:45 to 9 p.m. was in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. ESPN racked up 201,915 viewers in this key demographic and NFL Net had 94,444.

For the entire 3 hours and 45 minutes, the draft averaged 305,360 total viewers on ESPN and 106,520 on NFL Net. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, the totals were 146,552 for ESPN and 74,904 for NFL Net.

Rival sports programming barely mattered. The Texas Rangers’ 5-0 home win against Colorado drew just 49,709 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest. On ESPN2, Miami’s Round 2 NBA playoff win against Brooklyn drew 92,317 viewers before San Antonio’s latest demolition of Portland had 56,810.

In the Big Four broadcast network arena, CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of The Big Bang Theory led all programming with 447,382 total viewers. The NFL draft had a combined 383,470 viewers from 7 to 7:30 p.m. before steamrollering everything else in its path. Even Big Bang couldn’t match the draft’s pulling power with 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 153,065 viewers in this age range compared to the draft’s 7 to 7:30 p.m. haul of 188,889.

Elsewhere in prime-time, NBC’s two-hour American Comedy Awards special managed only 78,114 viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. During those hours, it was beaten by all rival programming on ABC, CBS and Fox.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby numbers, with 11 weekdays days now accounted for and 9 left to go.

WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming), edging Fox4 in both measurements.

NBC5 continued to mount a challenge to defending champ Fox4 in the 6 a.m. total viewers race. The Peacock won that one while Fox4 again countered with a solid first place finish among 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 also had the most total viewers at 5 and 6 p.m., with Fox4 taking both golds in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net