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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 13-15) -- Rangers, Rangers, Rangers (updated)

Josh Hamilton ignites a packed house by scoring from second on infield hit to tie Friday's TXA21 telecast at 9-9. Photo: Ed Bark

We'll get to those boffo weekend Texas Rangers ratings in just a minute.

But first I'd like to thank Myrtle Beach of Barren, Texas for sending a delicious butterscotch bundt cake up to the booth here at unclebarky.com central.

Also, many thanks to Ida Didit of Dime Box for that very tasty pan of frosted lemon squares.

And we can't wait to try that batch of hickory-smoked homemade beef jerky, courtesy of Bob Ed Bubbadubba of Lake Algae.

Those who watched the games -- and there were many of you -- must know by now that I've had my fill of those repeated updates of their refrigerator supplies by Rangers' TV announcers Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve. Yeah, it's supposed to be homey and all that. But at this point, how about just one big thank you to one and all. Thank you very much, but those jalapeno popcorn balls from Otis "Kernel" Mustard of Minnehoohah no longer should merit on-air recognition.

Meanwhile, TXA21's Friday night telecast of the Rangers' marathon 10-9 win over Boston went nuts in the D-FW ratings.

Stretching to 11:16 p.m. -- when Nelson Cruz hit a walk-off home run -- the game averaged 309,650 viewers according to Nielsen's final report. A peak audience of 434,323 watched between 9:45 and 10 p.m. The Rangers also laid waste to the quartet of local late night newscasts, drawing 413,964 viewers from 10 to 10:30 p.m. while Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 drew a combined 346,101 viewers.

The Rangers and Red Sox shifted to Fox Sports Southwest for the Saturday and Sunday games.

Saturday night's 3-1 loss to Boston averaged 257,879 viewers. And Sunday afternoon's 7-3 Rangers win, stretching their first-place led to eight-and-a-half games over the Angels, drew 251,093 viewers.

In all three cases, the Rangers were each day's most-watched attraction on either broadcast or cable. Even on Sunday, the peak audience of 325,742 viewers exceeded the peak viewership of the PGA championship on CBS. Golf's last major championship of the season, which went into a three-hole playoff that extended to 7:12 p.m. Sunday, topped out at 278,238 viewers between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. Its overall ratings average was much lower than the Rangers-Red Sox game, which competed directly against the PGA championship from 2:05 to 5:05 p.m.

Sunday's post-local newscast, late night sports specials of course all led with reports from the Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, CA, where every little snippet of activity was duly flogged. But NBC5 and CBS11 at least found time to also do live interviews with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and new owner Chuck Greenberg (respectively by NBC5's Newy Scruggs and CBS11's Babe Laufenberg).

WFAA8, with Joe Trahan anchoring from Oxnard, loaded up on Cowboys' minutiae before finally getting around to a brief highlight tape from the Rangers game. (I missed Fox4's earlier 10 p.m. sports special. And an effort to DVR the scheduled replay turned up part of an old Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence prison movie instead.)

(This just in: Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy emailed Tuesday to note that "we led with Rangers, spent 15 minutes talking baseball" at the start of Sunday's program. He also added a caveat: "To be honest, though, if I had been in Oxnard (with the Cowboys), the show would have been stacked differently. It 's fun to have some options, though!")

Cowboys pre-season games may be "meaningless," as WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen regularly tells viewers. But on WFAA8 more than any other station, the Rangers are about as high a priority as a kids' Wiffle ball game. Even though as an ABC affiliate, WFAA8 again won't have any pre-season, regular season or post-season Cowboys games. Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11 all will.

(To answer the inevitable rebuttal, yes, the Cowboys still draw far more viewers for their games than the Rangers do. But when basically nothing is going on in training camp, do the Cowboys always have to lead sportscasts? The Rangers uncommonly are entrenched in first place while playing games that count every day. They're legitimately the D-FW market's biggest sports story -- at least until the Cowboys' regular season starts or if a major player such as Tony Romo or Miles Austin is injured. But local stations are still blowing a big hunk of their budgets by sending crews lemming-like to Cowboys training camp while the Rangers' biggest-drawing homestand in recent memory is a comparative afterthought. They hit the road now while I rest my case -- futilely of course.)

Although bludgeoned by Friday night's Rangers game, NBC5 and WFAA8 (Cowboys coverage and all) tied for first at 10 p.m. in total viewers with a bunt-sized 108,581 apiece. But the Peacock won outright among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.

NBC5 took the 6 a.m. gold in total viewers while finishing in a first-place tie with Fox4 and WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11 ran the table at 6 p.m. and also topped the 5 p.m. Nielsens in total viewers. WFAA8 and CBS11 shared first place at 5 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds.