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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., April 23) -- Mavs vs. Stars on momentous sports night

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The Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars went toe-to-toe Wednesday night in post-season games that essentially were must-wins for both teams.

The Mavs routed the San Antonio Spurs on their home court to even their series at 1-1 while the Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit on home ice to knock off the Anaheim Ducks and square their series at 2-2. Woo hoo times two.

Now let’s take a look at their respective D-FW ratings pictures, with each contest starting at 7:10 p.m. Mavs-Spurs ended at 9:33 p.m. and Stars-Ducks lingered until 9:48 p.m. So the Nielsen Media Research data will count their final quarter-hours in full -- 9:30 to 9:45 and 9:45 to 10 -- even though the viewing numbers obviously tailed off once the final buzzers had sounded.

TXA21 had exclusive coverage of the Mavs, with NBA TV contractually prohibited from carrying the game in this market. An average of 241,444 D-FW viewers tuned in, with a peak audience of 340,862 between 9 and 9:15 p.m.

Fox Sports Southwest carried the Stars game, which averaged 63,912 viewers with a high of 142,026 for the closing minutes and post-game coverage.

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, the Mavs averaged 120,498 viewers and the Stars, 32,567.

The Texas Rangers also had a big day, sweeping the Oakland A’s on their home field via another shutout gem from starter Martin Perez. Daytime hours kept the TV crowd way down, with the Rangers drawing just 56,810 viewers on FSS. A scant 6,513 were within the 18-to-49 age range.

Wednesday’s 7 to 8 p.m. portion of Fox’s American Idol beat Mavs-Spurs in total viewers before the game took over as prime-time’s top draw from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The second half of Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then became prime-time’s most-watched attraction. The order of finish was the same among 18-to-49-year-olds.

On the eve of the May “sweeps” ratings period, here’s how the four-way local news derby races played out.

WFAA8 ran first at 10 p.m. in total viewers, but Fox4 took the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

At 6 a.m., WFAA8 edged the usual kingpin, Fox4, in total viewers. Fox4 won by a comfortable margin in the 25-to-54 demographic.

NBC5 remained strong in the early evening, sweeping the 5 and 6 p.m. competitions in both ratings measurements.

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