Primetime Ratings: NFL Rules Sunday Night

Football ruled Sunday night, quarterbacking NBC and Fox to the top two spots in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen Media Research overnight primetime ratings.

Those numbers could change slightly when the final national numbers come in, but not enough to change the order of victory.

NBC won the night easily with a 5.8 rating/15 share, thanks to its coverage of Sunday Night Football. It didn't hurt that one of the two teams was the National Football League’s Giants of No. 1 market New York, although Dallas Cowboys fans emerged with bragging rights on the long side of a 45-35 score.

Fox was second on the night, helped by a 5.9 rating for its football overrun from 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The network might have taken second anyway with strong performances from its animated lineup, particularly back-to-back Family Guy episodes, although the race for second would certainly have been closer without the boost from the game.

ABC was third thanks to a 2.8/7 for theatrical Meet the Fockers.

CBS was fourth in the demo with a 2.1/5, led by Big Brother with a 3.0/8, but not getting much help from its sports runover, a 1.8/5 from 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. for U.S. Open Tennis coverage.

The CW was fifth with a blink-and-you-missed-it 0.4/1 for repeats of Seventh Heaven, Smallville and Pussycat Dolls.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.