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TV Ratings: Cowboys-Giants opener dominates Wednesday for NBC
Bill Clinton is no competition for the NFL kickoff
NBC's coverage of the NFL season opener between the Cowboys and Giants dominated primetime on Wednesday, rushing unscripted competition and a well-received Bill Clinton address at the Democratic Convention.
Because the football game and DNC both ran live for much of the country and also ran into primetime on the west coast, all of Wednesday's numbers are extra-inexact.
For the night, NBC averaged an 8.2 rating among adults 18-49, far ahead of the combined totals for the other networks in the key demographic. CBS and FOX both averaged 1.4 key demo ratings, beating the 1.0 rating for ABC and The CW's 0.4 key demo rating.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 20.585 million viewers to go with a 12.7 rating/20 share for Wednesday primetime. CBS was a distant second with a 3.3/5 and 5.06 million viewers, topping FOX's 2.6/4 and 4.14 million viewers and ABC's 2.5/4 and 3.61 million viewers.
8 p.m. - NBC's pregame coverage and the beginning of the action between the Cowboys and Giants averaged 18.26 million viewers and a 7.0 rating among adults 18-49, easily topping the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' "Big Brother" was second with 6.09 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating. FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" limped to 4.05 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating, barely beating the 3.91 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for ABC's repeats of "The Middle" and "Suburgatory." The CW's "Oh Sit!" remained solid with 1.14 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The Giants and Cowboys were up to 23.26 million viewers and a 9.2 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. hour for NBC. CBS was second overall with 5.16 million viewers and third with a 1.2 key demo rating for a repeat of "Criminal Minds." FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" improved slightly to 4.24 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating in its second hour. ABC was fourth with 3.37 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating for repeats of "Modern Family" and "Suburgatory." The CW's repeat of "Supernatural" averaged 783,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - NBC closed its primetime sweep with 20.18 million viewers and an 8.4 rating among adults 18-49 for what was still referred to a "Sunday Night Football." CBS' coverage of the Democratic Convention averaged 3.935 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, compared to the 3.54 million viewers and 0.9 key demo rating for ABC's coverage.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.