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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Dec. 18-20) -- Cowboys-Saints have it Big Easy in D-FW

On a Saturday night brimming with Christmas parties and sports bar patronage, the Cowboys' pulsating win over New Orleans tickled the in-home Nielsen ratings to a total of 1,384,405 D-FW viewers on two channel choices.

That probably doesn't begin to tell how many people watched the game via other venues. But in the measurements made available to local TV stations, Cowboys-Saints racked up 936,509 viewers on TXA21 and added another 447,896 on the NFL Network.

That's a decent-sized increase over the 1,214,748 who watched the previous Sunday's home loss to San Diego on CBS. But it falls well short of this season's record-setter -- a crowd of 1,737,293 for the September christening of Jerry's Palace in a high-scoring loss to the Giants.

All 14 of this season's Cowboys games have topped the one million mark, with the smallest crowd still the 1,065,449 who watched Dallas defeat Tampa Bay on Fox's opening day telecast.

The most-watched attraction opposite Cowboys-Saints Saturday night was ABC's reprise of The Santa Clause II, which had a skimpy-sized 74,649 viewers.

In Sunday's pro football action, Fox's Eagles-49ers game, capped by a smidgen of the Packers' last-play loss to Pittsburgh, was the day's biggest draw with 536,118 viewers. NBC's Sunday Night Football matchup, in which Carolina embarrassed the front-running Vikings, ran close behind with 508,973 viewers.

Over on TXA21, the Mavericks' gutty, Dirk Nowitzki-less home win over powerful Cleveland drew 101,795 viewers Sunday night.

In Friday's local news derby results, WFAA8 had twin wins at 10 p.m. in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. ratings in both measurements and did likewise at 5 p.m.

NBC5 and CBS11 tied for first in total viewers at 6 p.m., but Fox4 again hauled home the 25-to-54 gold. It marked the fifth straight weekday that Fox4 has won or shared first place in that key demographic.