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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 25-27) -- Cowboys unravel before another million-plus crowd; Game 4 of World Series nips Sunday Night Football

By Ed Bark
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Cowboys’ late game self-destruction at Detroit, ending in a near-miraculous 31-30 win by the Lions, at least ranked as this season’s biggest draw among the five games shown by Fox.

Stretching from noon to 3:28 p.m., Cowboys-Lions averaged 1,150,411 D-FW viewers with a peak crowd of 1,533,881 for the agonizing 3:15 to 3:30 p.m. segment. Fans watched Dallas implode while wide receiver Dez Bryant blew up on the sidelines. Passion or immaturity? Whatever your perception, the video already has gone viral on sports shows across the nation.

The 4-4 Cowboys now have played half of their 16-game regular season. Here’s the top-to-bottom look at how those games have fared in the D-FW Nielsens:

Sept. 8th vs New York Giants on NBC -- 1,542,061 total viewers
Oct. 13th vs Washington Redskins on NBC -- 1,540,982
Oct. 6th vs Denver Broncos on CBS -- 1,299,538
Oct. 27th vs Detroit Lions on Fox -- 1,150,411
Sept. 29th vs San Diego Chargers on Fox -- 1,093,600
Oct. 20th vs Philadelphia Eagles on Fox -- 1,058,094
Sept. 15th vs Kansas City Chiefs on Fox -- 1,011,977
Sept. 22nd vs. St. Louis Rams on Fox -- 943,135

Fox had a massive day sports-wise, with Sunday’s following Denver Broncos-Washington Redskins game drawing 745,637 viewers. Then it was on to Game 4 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Ending at 10:52 p.m., the 4-2 win by Boston averaged 362,166 viewers. That was just good enough to knock off NBC’s Sunday Night Football clash between the valiant Green Bay Packers and hapless Minnesota Vikings. It drew 355,065 viewers before grinding to an end at 10:25 p.m.

Game 4 of the Series also surprisingly beat Sunday Night Football among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. But in a highly impressive show of might, the 8 to 9 p.m. portions of the games fell to AMC’s The Walking Dead, which had 205,172 viewers in this key demographic compared to baseball’s 188,889 and football’s 166,092.

The NFL’s biggest loser Sunday, CBS’ mid-afternoon telecast of the Raiders-Steelers game, barely registered with 85,216 total viewers.

On Saturday, the rain/lightning-delayed Oklahoma-Texas A&M game ran until 6:30 p.m. on Fox before being shifted over to Fox News Channel in deference to the World Series pre-game show on Fox. The Oklahoma win, in a tight battle, averaged 291,153 total viewers for the Fox portion of the game. The remainder on Fox News Channel drew 149,127 viewers. Despite the drop-off, this was a mega-windfall for Fox News Channel, which had 4,261 viewers for the 6:15 to 6:30 segment of The Fox Report before football kicked in.

Saturday’s Game 3 of the World Series, which ended on a bizarre obstruction call that allowed the Cards to score the winning run, ran all the way until 11:04 p.m. on Fox. It averaged 284,052 viewers, with a high of 397,673 for the 10:30 to 10:45 p.m. segment. The controversial finishing minutes came close to equaling that crowd with 362,166 tuned in.

Otherwise nothing else came close to Game 3 in prime-time or late night; NBC’s Saturday Night Live fared the best with 142,026 viewers.

On Friday night, the Dallas Mavericks’ final pre-season game, against the Indiana Pacers, averaged 49,709 viewers on TXA21. The night’s top draw, CBS’ Blue Bloods, had 284,052 viewers in the 9 p.m. hour. But ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Shark Tank as usual ranked highest Friday among 18-to-49-year-olds.

NBC opened weak with Dracula, with the premiere episode running fourth at 9 p.m. in both ratings measurements. The Peacock’s Season 3 return of Grimm had even smaller audiences at 8 p.m.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results:

CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m., but WFAA8 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. while the 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 age range.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net