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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 24-26) -- viewers leave the scene of Cowboys crash

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The old axiom is that people love to see a car wreck. But where the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, nope.

Sunday night’s Game 3 of the pre-season, a 27-3 loss to the visiting Arizona Cardinals, ran from 7:07 to 10:09 p.m. on NBC’s showcase Sunday Night Football stage. Dallas didn’t score until the final seconds of the game. And by that time, the D-FW audience had shrunk considerably.

Overall, Cowboys-Cardinals averaged 505,669 total viewers and 187,236 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Last year’s Game 3, a 24-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts on CBS11, pulled in 559,875 total viewers, with 192,426 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Neither game was a so-called “dress rehearsal” in which starters played much of the first half. In 2017, Dallas was scheduled to play five pre-season games, with Game 4 ending up as the dress rehearsal. Game 5, against the Houston Texans, was canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Also notable: Last year’s Game 3 was played on a Saturday night when many potential viewers tend to be out and about. But it still out-performed this year’s game versus Arizona, which got a more visible stay-at-home Sunday slot.

Of course the score didn’t help. The Cowboys had eight turnovers and basically were out of the game at halftime. Reacting accordingly, D-FW viewers tuned out as the game wore on. In total viewers, the crowd decreased in each 15-minute increment from 9 p.m. until the end, when just 313,372 viewers remained, some of them possibly asleep. Among 18-to-49ers, the steady drop-off started at 8:15 p.m. By the end of the game, only 112,342 remained.

The Cowboys still decimated all competing Sunday night programming. CBS’ 7 p.m. hour of Big Brother fared the best, with 156,686 total viewers and 65,533 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. As usual, that’s a higher percentage of 18-to-49-year-olds than the Cowboys managed.

In Friday’s prime-time Nielsens, NBC’s 9 p.m. edition of Dateline led all programming with 95,436 total viewers and also edged the 9 to 10 p.m. portion of CBS’ Detroit Lions-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while the Peacock and Fox4 tied with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 continued its lengthy 6 a.m. winning streak with another sweep. NBC5 drew the most total viewers at 5 and 6 p.m., and Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds at those hours.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net