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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 7) -- Cowboys' numbers peak early in first pre-season game

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Absent four star offensive players, the Dallas Cowboys rolled out their 2014 version Thursday night for a game that started late and peaked early in the D-FW ratings.

Kicking off shortly after 9 p.m., the 27-7 loss at San Diego in the first pre-season game averaged 454,483 viewers on CBS11. That’s a big dip from the 2013 opener, although the circumstances were quite different. The Cowboys were on NBC’s Sunday night stage for their Hall of Fame game against Miami, a down-to-the-wire 24-20 Dallas win that drew 695,304 viewers.

Thursday’s game approached that viewing level with a peak crowd of 667,522 viewers between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. From that point on, the audience steadily declined in each 15-minute increment measured by Nielsen Media Research. By the last quarter hour -- 11:45 to midnight -- only 205,938 viewers remained. How many had fallen asleep is an open question.

Cowboys-Chargers still clobbered all competing programming from start to finish. CBS11’s one-hour 8 p.m. pre-game show also won its time slot with 177,533 viewers. CBS’ Big Brother, moved to sister station TXA21, ran second from 8 to 9 p.m. with 113,621 viewers. But BB edged the Cowboys pre-game show among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds by a score of 71,647 viewers to 68,391.

The entire three-hour Cowboys game averaged 198,659 viewers in the key 18-to-49 demographic. That’s less than half the 454,483 total.

Thursday night’s second episode of ABC’s medieval competition show, The Quest, had the advantage of being in a Cowboys-free zone at 7 p.m. But it still fell on its sword with a measly 42,608 total viewers and 19,540 in the 18-to-49 age range. Among the Big Four broadcast networks, that ranked The Quest last in total viewers and third with 18-to-49-year-olds (ahead of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow repeat).

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results.

In a downsized three-way 10 p.m. competition, WFAA8 ran first in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 otherwise celebrated with sweeps at 6 a.m. and at 5 and 6 p.m.

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