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Football has NBC marching upfield

September 17, 2008|Scott Collins

Pro football is already making a difference for NBC, which handily won last week's prime-time ratings among both total viewers and the advertiser-friendly group of adults ages 18 to 49.

The "NBC Sunday Night Football" matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns gathered 17.8 million viewers, easily making it the most-watched program for the week ending Sunday, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Including perennials such as "America's Got Talent" and "Deal or No Deal," NBC landed seven of the top 10 programs among total viewers. Overall, NBC averaged 8.4 million viewers, trailed by CBS (7.4 million), ABC (6.3 million) and Fox (6.2 million).

NBC has been on a roll since the Beijing Olympics broke ratings records last month. The network has taken six straight weeks among total viewers, its longest winning streak in more than six years.

Fox placed No. 2 in the 18-to-49 category, with a preseason premiere Tuesday of J.J. Abrams' heavily promoted thriller "Fringe." The series opener delivered a mediocre 9.1 million total viewers, though it won its slot in viewers 18 to 49.

The full list of Nielsen ratings, normally published in Calendar on Wednesdays, will appear later this week.

-- Scott Collins

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