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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 31/Jan. 1)

Here's a little turn-of-the-year ratings whoopee.

WFAA8's last telecast of 2008, its live, locally produced Big D NYE special from Victory Park, easily had more viewers than any other program Wednesday. It also drew almost as big a crowd as the following day's Rose Bowl game on ABC/WFAA8. That's a huge boost for localism.

Big D NYE, with sports anchor Dale Hansen and weathercaster Pete Delkus as the principal hosts, averaged 465,010 D-FW viewers, peaking at 544,726 between midnight and 12:15 a.m.

The Rose Bowl, in which Southern Cal mostly toyed with Penn State, drew 484,939 viewers with a peak audience of 577,941 between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m.

Big D NYE also clicked with advertiser-favored 18-to-49-year-olds, clocking in with 217,160 of 'em overall and a high of 275,502 at the midnight hour. The Rose Bowl averaged 236,608 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range, peaking at 281,984 from 5:15 to 5:30 p.m.

The other New Year's Day bowl game ratings pictures looked like this, with winning teams listed first:

Georgia and Michigan State in the Capitol One Bowl on ABC -- 259,077 total viewers and 100,477 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Virginia Tech-Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl on Fox -- 245,791 total viewers and 106,960 in the 18-to-49 demo.

Nebraska and Clemson in the Gator Bowl on CBS -- 139,503 total viewers and 51,859 in the 18-to-49 demo.

Iowa and South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on ESPN -- 59,787 total viewers and 35,653 in the 18-to-49 demo.

Over on NBC, the NHL's outdoor "Winter Classic" between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks averaged 39,858 viewers, with 19,447 in the 18-to-49 age range.

CBS took a ratings bath on New Year's Eve afternoon with Oregon State's 3-0 win over Pittsburgh in El Paso's Sun Bowl. The game drew just 39,858 D-FW viewers, only 6,482 of 'em in the 18-to-49 demo.

The local TV news providers wrote off their Wednesday and Thursday editions with "Holiday" designations, which means they're not officially counted by Nielsen Media Research. For the record, though, the last day of 2008 went like this:

WFAA won at 10 p.m. Wednesday in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and also placed first among 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 p.m.

WFAA8 won at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. in total viewers. At 6 p.m. it shared the top spot with with Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demo.