'Sunday Night Football' Big Scorer

Sunday Night FootballEarly evening NFL programming shuffled the broadcast networks rating standings this Sunday night --- but not top NFL dog NBC.

A high-interest game -- the New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers -- gave NBC improved numbers for the night on average, versus a week ago: a Nielsen 5.9 rating/15 share among 18-49 viewers, up over its 5.3 average rating of a week ago. The game itself earned a 7.1 rating this week versus the 6.4 rating last week before featuring the Green Bay Packers-Dallas Cowboys.

Fox made a big jump this week from the week before, to a 4.5/11 from a 2.8 rating. It got some early-evening push that it didn't have a week ago, with the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game, which earned a 7.9/22 in the 7 p.m. hour.

The week before, CBS had some of this, with a 8.8 rating from the Indianapolis Colts-Philadelphia Eagles in the hour-and-a-half period starting at 7 p.m. This gave CBS a 4.6 average rating for the night a week ago -- almost identical to the 4.5 rating Fox earned this week.



Without that lead-in, CBS took it on the chin a bit -- "Amazing Race" moved down to a 2.8/7 from a 3.2 average 18-49 rating. That said, "Undercover Boss" was able to maintain its numbers -- a 2.7/6 versus a 2.6 the previous week.

Still, the biggest NFL evening game this week hurt some big 9 p.m. players. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" went down to 3.7/9 from a 4.0 rating the week before; Fox's "Family Guy" sank to a 3.3/8 from a 3.8.

After NBC and Fox, ABC averaged a 2.5/6 (down from a 2.7 the week before); then came CBS at a 2.4/6; and Univision at a 1.3/3 (versus a 1.2 the week before). NBC won among younger 18-34 viewers to second-place Fox: a 5.0/14 versus a 4.6/12.

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