CBS easily won the ratings race Thursday night with locally televised preseason football playing a major factor in most markets around the country.
Although the networks’ regularly scheduled programs did air in a handful of cities, the final NFL preseason game of the year dominated. Ratings for series that are generally low in summer because of reruns were higher Thursday in early morning Nielsen returns, but once football is factored out those numbers will fall significantly.
Revised ratings will come out later this afternoon to see which actual programs fared best.
All Big Four networks aired football, with some of the top games being the 49ers at the Chargers, Eagles at the Jets and Giants at the Patriots.
In timeslot competition, CBS fared best from 9-10 p.m., with a 3.4 rating/9 share in the 18-49 demo and 9.6 million viewers overall. The Eye’s summer powerhouse ”Big Brother” aired in the hour in the markets that weren’t televising football at the time.
As a matter of fact, CBS won all primetime timeslots, with NBC tying ABC for second place.
The only network not to air football was the CW, which offered repeats of ”The Vampire Diaries” and ”Plain Jane.”
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.6/5; Fox, 1.4/4; CW, 0.4/1.
In total viewers: CBS, 8.6 million; ABC, 5.9 million; Fox, 5.2 million; NBC, 4.8 million; Univision, 4.7 million; CW, 1.1 million.