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Football still king on Sunday

NFL action doubles up baseball in overnights

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has dominated another Sunday ratings race in key demos, thumping Game 2 of baseball’s National League Championship Series, which once again was not available to a good chunk of the Philadelphia market due to Cablevision’s dispute with Fox over carriage fees.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the Indianapolis Colts’ 27-24 victory over the Washington Redskins on “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 6.5 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 16.9 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by more than 10% when nationals are issued on Tuesday. And from 8 to 11 p.m., Fox’s coverage of the NLCS between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants averaged a 2.3/6 in 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers overall on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with these numbers also likely to surge in the nationals since they don’t accurately reflect viewing on the West Coast.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, football earned a 13.2 household rating/20 share — the best opposite a league championship series in 13 years. The baseball game, won 6-1 by the Phillies, settled for a 6.5/10.

Making baseball’s task more difficult on Sunday was the fact that Cablevision customers in both New York and Philadelphia were unable to watch as a result of a carriage deal that expired Friday at midnight EDT. The next game in the Philadelphia-San Francisco series is set for Tuesday afternoon on Fox, and both sides were expected to resume talks today.

Elsewhere Sunday, CBS had a solid night opposite the double-barreled sports action with its lineup of “60 Minutes” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall), “The Amazing Race” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall), “Undercover Boss” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Miami” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall).

And ABC continues to do fairly well from 9 to 11 p.m. with “Desperate Housewives” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall) and “Brothers and Sisters” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) despite sluggish numbers earlier in the evening from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall). “Housewives” was the night’s No. 1 entertainment series in adults 18-49.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.4/14; Fox, 3.3/9; CBS, 3.0/8; ABC, 2.6/7; Univision, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 14.3 million; CBS, 11.9 million; Fox, 9.8 million; ABC, 9.3 million; Univision, 3.1 million.

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