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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 26-28) -- even a smallish Cowboys crowd sacks Rangers for big loss

This could qualify as one of those simple dimple opening Who Wants to be a Millionaire questions -- except with just two answers to choose from.

A largely meaningless Dallas Cowboys pre-season game aired directly opposite a very meaningful Texas Rangers game Saturday night. Which team had the bigger audience?

While WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen chortles, we'll give you the no-brainer answer. The Cowboys' 23-17 road win at Minnesota, in which starters played the entire first half, had more than five times as many viewers as the first-place Rangers' 8-4 loss to the close-behind second place Angels.

Cowboys-Vikings, which started shortly after 7 p.m. and ended at 10:07 p.m. on CBS11, averaged 664,867 D-FW viewers, with a peak audience of 789,530 between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m. Rangers-Angels, which also started shortly after 7 p.m. and ended a bit later at 10:12 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest, averaged 131,588 viewers, with a peak crowd of 228,548 between 9 and 9:15 p.m.

Although imposing, the Cowboys' overall viewership easily was the smallest of the team's three pre-season games. An opening last-second win over Denver drew 789,370 viewers on CBS11 while the Cowboys' loss to San Diego on NBC's Sunday Night Football fell just short of the one million mark with 969,598 viewers.

The Rangers fared better with their weekly Friday night game on TXA21, beating the Angels to the tune of 186,994 viewers while outdrawing CBS' competing Packers-Colts pre-season game (138,514 viewers). That made the North Texas Nine Friday's biggest prime-time draw. Sunday night's Rangers win against the Angels, carried nationally by ESPN, was the most- watched of the three games, averaging 242,400 viewers locally.

On Sunday afternoon, ABC's telecast of the Little League World Series championship game had 55,406 viewers. NBC led all prime-time programming Sunday with its Saints-Raiders pre-season game (228,548 viewers).

In Friday's local news derby results, Fox4 and NBC5 took turns in the winner's circle.

The Peacock won at 10 p.m. in total viewers, but Fox4 had a slight edge among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.

The two stations shared first place at 6 a.m. in total viewers, with Fox4 again alone atop the 25-to-54 measurement.

Fox4 swept the 5 p.m. competitions and added a 6 p.m. gold in total viewers. NBC5 ran first at 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds.