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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Dec. 7) -- time-sharing Cowboys roll up more big numbers

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A snore-fest until the climactic, crazy, closing minutes, the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game on Monday Night Football again had no problem surpassing the one million viewer mark.

Running from 7:30 to 10:44 p.m., the Cowboys’ 19-16 win on a 55-yard Dan Bailey field goal averaged 467,438 D-FW viewers on ESPN and 743,652 for the home market simulcast on TEGNA8. That’s a grand total of 1,211,090 viewers.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Cowboys-Redskins had 266,759 viewers on ESPN and 263,583 viewers on TEGNA8 for a total of 530,342.

This is interesting on two fronts. For one, younger viewers clearly are more amenable to choosing a cable network rather than an old-line broadcast network. In that respect, ESPN edging TEGNA8 in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic is an eye-opener.

Also, the Cowboys continue to draw less than 50 percent of their viewership from the motherlode 18-to-49 age range, even though the ESPN audience surpassed that percentage while TEGNA8 fell well short. If you’re a broadcast network bean-counter, you hate to see that.

The season-to-date record holder in total viewers is still CBS’ Thanksgiving Day game versus the Carolina Panthers, which averaged 1,664,364 despite the Cowboys being routed. The Oct. 4th overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints on NBC’s Sunday Night Football still has the top mark among 18-to-49-year-olds with 746,290.

Monday’s top prime-time performer among non-Cowboys attractions was NBC’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of The Voice with 290,378 total viewers and 79,393 in the 18-to-49 age range.

The Peacock’s following two-episode sneak preview of Eva Longoria’s Telenovela had a tough time getting noticed. Each episode had 70,824 total viewers. In the 18-to-49 arena, Episode 1 drew 38,108 viewers and Episode 2 had 28,581.

Also of note: At 6:30 p.m., TEGNA8’s homegrown Cowboys special anchored by Dale Hansen beat CBS11’s Wheel of Fortune in total viewers by a score of 240,802 to 212,472. In the 18-to-49 measurement, TEGNA8 cruised with 101,622 viewers while NBC5’s runner-up Extra had 31,757.

The Dallas Mavericks’ road win against the New York Knicks drew just 35,412 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest, with 25,401 in the 18-to-49 realm. That’s at least a far better percentage than the Cowboys drew, but otherwise a mere pimple in comparison.

OK, here are Monday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 won the downsized three-way 10 p.m. race in total viewers, but Fox4 ran first by a thin margin with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 remained in total control at 6 a.m. with another pair of dominating wins. TEGNA8 swept the 6 p.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m.

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