Football leads NBC to ratings win

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Football proved a dependable draw during a quiet week in television over the Christmas holiday.

With a NFL playoff spot on the line in the last game of the season, NBC's coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night was easily the most-watched program of the week, reaching more than 27 million viewers, the Nielsen company said.

The most popular non-football related program was a rerun of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," seen by just under 11 million people.

While it wasn't a smash success, ABC's special on families competing to show who had the wildest Christmas light decorations on their homes did better than any other holiday-oriented fare, and was particularly popular among younger viewers.

The annual Kennedy Center Honors program on CBS, seen by 7.1 million people, was down more than a million viewers from last year's telecast, but it was competing against NBC's football game.

NBC averaged 6.7 million viewers for the week in prime time. CBS had 6.2 million, ABC had 4.2 million, Fox had 3.6 million, Univision had 2.4 million, Telemundo had 1.17 million, ION Television had 1.16 million and the CW had 870,000.

Football-clogged ESPN was the most popular cable network, averaging 4.5 million viewers. TBS had 2.6 million, USA had 2.5 million, The Disney Channel had 2.1 million and The Family Channel had 1.9 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.7 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 7.6 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.5 million viewers.

For the week of Dec. 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Philadelphia at Dallas, NBC, 27.36 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 19.21 million; "The OT," Fox, 15.32 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 14.58 million; "NFL Today Post-Game," CBS, 13.39 million; NFL Football: Atlanta at San Francisco, ESPN, 13.22 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 10.98 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.47 million; "Kennedy Center Honors," CBS, 7.18 million; "The Millers," CBS, 7.143 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.