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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Sun., Nov. 29-Dec. 3) -- Cowboys rout Redskins but still get that sinking feeling

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A classic rivalry game in prime-time -- and also a big, slump-breaking Dallas Cowboys win -- failed to boost the team’s ratings stock Thursday night.

Running until 10:21 p.m., the Cowboys’ 38-14 domination of the Washington Redskins drew 911,629 D-FW viewers for the NBC presentation and added another 99,709 for the NFL Net simulcast. That barely inched the game past the one million mark with a not-at-all grand-total of 1,011,338 viewers.

Last season’s Game 12, also a Thursday night matchup on NBC/NFL Net, drew a combined 1,563,286 viewers. Dallas improved its record to 11-1 with a 17-15 win at Minnesota. This year’s Cowboys are now 6-6.

The win over Washington had what amounts to a measly 305,819 viewers in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old age range for NBC’s telecast and another 37,447 on NFL Net. How bad is that? Well, the combined 343,266 viewers in this key demographic are barely more than half the 651,042 viewers that tuned in for Cowboys-Vikes.

The novelty of last season’s two breakthrough rookies -- Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott -- certainly played a role in the 2016 ratings. As did the Cowboys’ return to dominance. This time around, Elliott continues to serve a six-game suspension while the team’s playoff hopes are basically on fumes. Still a year-to-year falloff of more than half a million total viewers is cause for considerable alarm -- not only for the Cowboys but for the NFL in general.

On Sunday, the slate of NFL games was topped by Seahawks-Eagles on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It led all TV attractions with 505,712 total viewers and 184,115 in the 18-to-49 realm. Fox’s late afternoon game, Saints vs. Panthers, ran a solid second with 484,303 total viewers and 180,995 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

CBS got strong returns -- at least in total viewers -- for its 7 to 9 p.m. 50th anniversary special in honor of The Carol Burnett Show. It pulled in 306,250 total viewers, but just 37,447 were of the 18-to-49 persuasion. But grandmas and grandpas gathered in force, and there’s still no law against that.

Saturday’s menu of four key college conference championship games was led by Fox’s late morning/early afternoon Oklahoma-TCU matchup, which averaged 341,861 total viewers. CBS’ afternoon Georgia-Auburn game likewise performed well with 327,617 viewers while Fox’s prime-time Ohio State-Wisconsin clash had 277,762 viewers. Clemson’s nighttime rout of Miami on CBS was the only lemon, with just 106,832 viewers.

Here are the local news derby results for Wednesday through Friday.

Wednesday -- It was a day of sweeps. TEGNA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Fox4 did likewise at 6 a.m. and NBC5 had twin wins at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 again topped the 10 p.m. competition for total viewers but Fox4 prevailed with 25-to-54-year-olds in a downsized three-way race opposite the close of the Cowboys game on NBC.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m., drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m. and tied NBC5 for first in that measurement at 5 p.m. The early evening total viewer golds went to the Peacock at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 at 6 p.m.

Friday -- CBS11 broke through for a total viewers win at 10 p.m. and beat Fox4 by a wisp for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 enjoyed another 6 a.m. sweep while NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. and had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. Fox4 won among 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m.

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