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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Sun., Dec. 30-Jan. 3) -- Cowboys go down for the count

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Wow. Just wow.

The Dallas Cowboys’ last regular season game, a dismal 34-23 home loss to the Washington Redskins, took a major plunge in the D-FW Nielsens in becoming the one and only to drop below the one million viewer mark. Make that well below.

Running until 3:16 p.m. on Fox, Cowboys-Redskins averaged 772,014 viewers, a steep drop from the previous bottom mark of 1,005,701 for the Dec. 27th loss at Buffalo. The game also set a season low for advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, with just 295,340. That easily eclipsed the 371,557 for a Sept. 27th home loss to Atlanta.

The Cowboys finished their season with a 4-12 record and a Nielsen ratings cow pie that may not soon be beaten.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football attraction, a battle for the NFC North title between the Minnesota Vikings and badly slumping Green Bay Packers, averaged 524,098 total viewers and 238,178 in the 18-to-49 age range.

On Saturday night, TCU’s incredible Alamo Bowl comeback win against Oregon (after trailing 31-0 at halftime), drew 339,955 total viewers on ESPN. The game had drooped to 233,719 viewers between 7:45 and 8:15 p.m. before trampolining back up to 517,015 for the closing minutes.

The New Year’s Day triple header bowl brigade on ESPN was led by Stanford’s route of Iowa in the Rose Bowl. It averaged 304,543 total viewers.

On New Year’s Eve, two more one-sided games left ESPN with smaller crowds than it had hoped for. The first Final Four championship game, with Clemson blowing past Oklahoma, averaged 509,932 total viewers before Alabama’s obliteration of Michigan State at Jerry’s Palace drew 467,438 viewers. So both games fell short of NBC’s Sunday night Vikings-Packers matchup.

Later that night, ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve festivities from Times Square and elsewhere drew 318,708 total viewers from 10:35 p.m. (following TEGNA8’s local newscast) to midnight. That easily was the best late night ratings showing. CBS11’s competing homegrown New Year’s Eve on the Couch from Fort Worth’s Sundance Square ramped up to 262,049 viewers from 11:45 p.m. to midnight while otherwise averaging 113,318 viewers for the entire program.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results, with all four major combatants taking holiday exemptions on both Thursday and Friday.

TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while CBS11 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 added another pair of 6 a.m. wins, CBS11 ran the table at 6 p.m. and TEGNA8 swept the 5 p.m. competitions.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net