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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Oct. 25-26) -- unsightly Ravens-Dolphins game still beats all

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If ever there were a litmus test of the NFL’s drawing power, it was the butt-ugly Ravens-Dolphins encounter on Thursday Night Football.

Baltimore’s 40-0 rout of inept and dirty Miami, with both teams using backup QBs most of the way, found even the CBS booth team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo rooting for it to end. In the final minutes, a cat on the field lent the night’s only real excitement, with Romo wondering whether the feline had gotten both feet in-bounds before exiting.

Nevertheless, the eyesore drew prime-time’s biggest overall audience on the first day of the November “sweeps” ratings period, with 220,785 D-FW viewers tuned to CBS and another 56,977 to the NFL Net simulcast for a total of 277,762.

Those aren’t imposing numbers. But the best that rival networks could do was ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which had 192,297 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour. Only the second half of the episode aired opposite football.

TNF also took the night as a whole among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, with 84,256 viewers for CBS and 15,603 for NFL Net for a total of 99,859. But NBC’s 7:30 p.m. episode of The Good Place managed to beat the first half-hour of Ravens-Dolphins with 87,377 viewers in this key demographic before the NFL reigned for the rest of the night.

Let’s move to Wednesday night, where the infinitely more captivating Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers gave Fox a big edge all night.

Ending at 11:36 p.m. with a home run-laden 7-6 Astros win in 11 innings, the marathon game averaged 398,838 total viewers and 152,909 in the 18-to-49 realm. (These ratings reflect the actual running time of the game. We don’t mess around here at unclebarky.com.)

CBS had the runner-up attraction with its 7 p.m. hour of Survivor. It drew 192,297 total viewers while ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Modern Family was the night’s second most-watched program with 18-to-49-year-olds (65,533).

And now for the local news derby results.

Wednesday -- On November “sweeps” eve, TEGNA8 won a downsized 10 p.m. competition in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. races and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- On Day One of the “sweeps,” another three-way 10 p.m. face-off found TEGNA8 nipping NBC5 in total viewers while Fox4 won more comfortably in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m., and TEGNA8 slipped into second place ahead of NBC5 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 also logged twin wins at 5 p.m. and added a 6 p.m. gold in the 25-to-54 realm. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

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