TV Ratings: Cowboys-Giants Sunday Night Football opener leads NBC
NFL also boosts FOX, while tennis helps CBS
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The Cowboys and Giants played a competitive thriller to kick off the NFL Sunday Night Football season in strong form for NBC, leading the night in all measures.
The NFL also helped boost overrun-aided FOX into second for the night in all measures.
Of course, all live numbers represent time period data and not specific programming data on those impacted networks -- CBS also had sports overrun with US Open tennis -- so expect changes when the final figures are available.
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 7.2 rating for Sunday night, tops in the key demographic. FOX's 3.9 rating and the 1.6 rating for CBS followed in the key demo, while sports-free ABC trailed with a 0.9 key demo rating.
NBC also led overall with an estimated 18.72 million viewers and an 11.1 rating/18 share for Sunday primetime, far ahead of the 9.86 million viewers and 5.8 rating/9 share for FOX. CBS was third for the night with a 4.6/7 and 7.24 million viewers, beating the 2.5/4 and 3.95 million viewers for ABC.
[Univision averaged 1.775 million viewers and a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 for Sunday night.]
7 p.m. - FOX's NFL overrun and "The OT" postgame won the 7 p.m. hour with 20.64 million viewers and a 7.7 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second with US Open tennis overrun for much of the country (and "60 Minutes" elsewhere), averaging 8.13 million viewers, but finished third with a 1.6 key demo rating. NBC's "Football Night in America" was third overall with 7.61 million viewers and second with a 2.6 key demo rating. ABC's repeat of "America's Funniest Home Videos" was fourth with 4.81 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating.
8 p.m. - The end of pregame and the start of the Cowboys vs. Giants led the 8 p.m. hour for NBC with 21.54 million viewers and an 8.3 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "60 Minutes" (and "Big Brother" in some markets) finished second with 8.83 million viewers and third with a 1.9 key demo rating, compared with the 5.3 million viewers and 2.4 key demo rating for FOX's NFL-boosted repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers."
9 p.m. - The football game rose to 23.95 million viewers and a 9.2 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS was second with 6.81 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo rating for "Big Brother" (and "Unforgettable"). ABC's "Secret Millionaire" was third with 4.34 million viewers and fourth with a 1.1 key demo rating, compared to the 3.63 million viewers and 1.7 key demo rating for FOX's repeats of "Family Guy."
10 p.m. - NBC closed primetime in first with 21.78 million viewers and an 8.8 rating among adults 18-49 for Sunday Night Football. CBS' "Unforgettable" (and a "Mentalist" repeat) averaged 5.195 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, beating the 2.99 million viewers and 0.6 key demo rating for ABC's "Castle" repeat.
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.