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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 16-18) -- Cowboys up a bit but still way down from last year

The Dallas Cowboys’ turnover-pocked loss to Arizona drew a little more interest in D-FW than the previous loss to Oakland.

Still, pre-season interest in the team remains substantially down from last year, with the Time Warner blackout no doubt something of a factor but not solely responsible.

The Cowboys’ 12-7 loss at Arizona, which ran from 3:37 to 6:38 p.m. Saturday, averaged 330,442 D-FW viewers on CBS11 and tacked on another 17,211 for Telemundo 39’s Spanish language telecast. The total of 347,653 is up from Game 2’s crowd of 316,673 but a sharp drop-off from the 582,573 viewers for Game 3 of the 2012 pre-season.

Later Saturday, the Texas Rangers’ 15-3 home win over Seattle on Fox Sports Southwest drew 206,526 viewers.

Sunday afternoon’s Rangers loss on FSS also pulled in 206,526 viewers. The Rangers’ Friday night loss on TXA21 (also blacked out in the area’s roughly 400,000 Time Warner homes) averaged 213,410 viewers. That was enough to beat Fox’s competing New England Patriots-Tampa Bay Buccaneers pre-season game, which had 144,568 viewers.

Sunday night’s Big Brother episode on CBS had 185,873 viewers, the best prime-time showing for any single program. But BB was nipped by the competing 7 to 8 p.m. portion of Fox’s Colts-Giants pre-season game, which had 192,758 viewers. The game’s overall average was 172,105 viewers.

Over on AMC, a new 8 p.m. episode of Breaking Bad drew 178,989 viewers, with a highly impressive 133,955 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old motherlode.

The following second episode of AMC’s Low Winter Sun free-fell to 27,537 total viewers and 15,947 in the 18-to-49 demographic. AMC’s 10 p.m. Talking Bad then jumped up to 55,074 total viewers with 31,894 of them 18-to-49-year-olds. These are virtually certain signs that Low Winter Sun will be setting permanently after Season 1.

Here are Friday’s local news derby numbers:

WFAA8 won a downsized 10 p.m. competition (Fox4 had a football over-run) in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

WFAA8 also swept the 6 a.m. Nielsens by twice beating usual kingpin Fox4.

Fox4 had the 5 and 6 p.m. wins in the 25-to-54 demographic. NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. and CBS11 won in that measurement at 6 p.m.

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