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NFL, bowl games score big in daytime ratings

The networks geared up for the National Football League playoffs with big season-closing ratings Jan. 2, while status quo reigned in Nielsen daytime and fringe standings for Dec. 27-31.

CBS posted a 19.4 rating, 42 share with its Dallas-New York game a week ago, while NBC’s regional coverage — including the thrilling Raiders-Broncos overtime game — averaged a 15.6/29.

Bowling for ratings

As for New Year’s Day bowl games, national ratings show the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl tied with an 11.3/22 each to top the daytime games, followed by ABC’s Florida Citrus Bowl (8.3/18), NBC’s Fiesta Bowl (7.9/17) and CBS’ Carquest Bowl (5.0/11).

In other holiday-related programming, ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” topped all competition Dec. 31 in latenight with an 8.9/24.

Turning to more conventional fringe and daytime results, CBS enjoyed a big week, with “Late Show With David Letterman” delivering its best numbers since its premiere and a second-best-ever rating for “CBS This Morning” (3.5/13), the morning-show doormat since its bow in 1987.

CBS still finished third in the breakfast battle behind “Good Morning America” (4.1/19), which barely edged “Today” (4.0/19) for its 18th consecutive household win, though the NBC show continues to enjoy a solid lead among key demographics.

“Late Show,” meanwhile, averaged a 6.1/18 to top “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (4.6/13), which nevertheless had a solid week. “Nightline,” delayed once by football and preempted for New Year’s Eve, ran third in its half-hour with a 4.5/12 three-day average.

CBS eyes success

The Eye web also ran its daytime win streak to 252 weeks, as holiday-week viewing surged. CBS averaged a 7.3/22 — its best performance since the week ending Dec. 30, 1984 — followed by ABC (5.4/16) and NBC (3.7/11).

ABC still held the edge among women 18-49, where averages were ABC, 4.6; CBS, 4.3; NBC, 2.6. CBS’ tally included the best average for “Young and the Restless” (9.6/27) in over seven years.

The three networks all offered truncated Saturday-morning lineups due to bowl coverage, while the Fox Children’s Network averaged a 5.7 rating among kids and 3.1/13 in households, its clearance level reduced to 88% by local Rose Parade coverage on KTTV.

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