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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Sept. 5) -- ratings dip a bit, but Cowboys in much better New York state of mind

The Dallas Cowboys' second straight season-opening trip to New York slipped in the D-FW ratings but virtually ensured bigger TV crowds to come.

Wednesday night's energizing 24-17 win against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants ran until 10:34 p.m. and averaged 1,348,046 viewers as the opening act of NBC's prime-time NFL franchise.

Last season's first regular season game, also in prime-time on NBC, drew 1,634,465 viewers. But the Cowboys' late collapse on the New York Jets home field sent most of that crowd to bed in a nightmare mood.

There's been some ratings deflation from year-to-year, with each Nielsen point now worth 67,741 viewers instead of last fall's 69,257. Even so, the Cowboys-Jets game still had significantly better numbers. Wednesday night's win against the Giants would increase its total by 30,168 viewers to 1,378,214 viewers using last season's Nielsen rating point values. That's still a shortfall of more than 250,000 viewers.

Well more than half of Wednesday night's crowd hit the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old motherlode. The total of 797,373 viewers in this key demographic was down from the 835,812 who watched the Cowboys-Jets 2011 opener.

Over on Fox Sports Southwest, the first-place Texas Rangers' 6-5 road win at Kansas City averaged 155,804 total viewers, more than 1.9 million fewer than Cowboys-Giants. The 18-to-49 haul was 32,023 viewers.

Night two of the Democratic National Convention, with a showcase speech by Bill Clinton, had the misfortune of going against both the Cowboys and the Rangers. NBC took a pass for football, leaving ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel to deal with it.

Clinton went long, of course, ending his speech at 10:24 p.m. after firing up at 9:35 p.m. That shattered the 9 to 10 p.m. "windows" allotted by ABC and CBS. Here are the 9 to 10:30 p.m. total viewer numbers for the convention. That's as close as we can get because Nielsen measures audiences in 15-minute increments.

ABC -- 88,063 viewers
MSNBC -- 81,289 vieweres
PBS/Fox News Channel -- 60,967 viewers each
CBS/CNN -- 40,645 viewers each

Hand calculator technology says that's a total of 372,576 convention viewers on six networks, compared to the Cowboys' 1,348,046 on NBC alone. You win some, you lose some. And the Democratic convention lost 94,837 D-FW viewers from night one's total, when Michelle Obama spoke.

Here are Wednesday's local news derby results, with 10 p.m. omitted because of the convention over-runs.

Fox4 won at 6 a.m. and at 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for the total viewers lead at 6 a.m.; Fox4 won at 5 p.m. in this measurement and NBC5 ran first at 6 p.m.