ESPN scores big in ratings game against broadcast last week

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN was last week's big winner in the Nielsen sweepstakes. The sports channel not only reigned supreme over cable rivals but also humbled broadcast networks.

It seized nine slots in the week's Top 20, including the first- and second-place entries — a pair of college playoff games, each drawing more than 28 million viewers.

The Nielsen ratings company said CBS had a strong showing, seizing seven of the Top 20 slots thanks to its portfolio of dramas and comedies, plus "The Kennedy Center Honors" special.

That helped CBS to an overall prime-time win for the week, averaging 11.4 million viewers. NBC was runner-up with 9.5 million viewers. Then came ESPN, with 8.3 million viewers, beating the rest of the broadcast pack.

"NBC Nightly News" again beat its evening-news competition.