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NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ Soaks the Competition

Best primetime West Coast game since 1991; ABC's 'Miss America' rises on its new night

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” dominated the primetime ratings race last night, drawing strong ratings for its San Francisco-Seattle rivalry matchup despite a weather-related delay. Sunday also saw ratings increases for the “Miss America Pageant” as it moved to a higher-profile night.

Preliminary, affiliate-based national estimates from Nielsen are murky for NBC’s football, but the net’s stations averaged a 7.4 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and 18.3 million viewers overall from 8:30 to 11 p.m., though the game didn’t end until well after midnight in the East due to storm delay from roughly 8:55-9:55 p.m. ET.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, the Seattle Seahawks’ 29-3 rout of the San Francisco 49ers averaged a 13.6 household rating/24 share — the best for a primetime NFL regular-season game on the West Coast since 1991 (Rams-49ers on ABC’s “Monday Night Football”). In Seattle, its 44.8 rating/66 share in the overnights is the best ever for a “Sunday Night Football” game, while the 26.8/48 in San Francisco ties that market’s best on NBC.

Elsewhere, ABC followed “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and special “20/20” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) with the “2014 Miss America Pageant” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall), which was up a tick in the demo from its most recent airing, on a Saturday in January. In total viewers, the competition had its best showing since 2004.

In the 10:30 p.m. half-hour, when Miss New York Nina Davuluri was crowned, “Miss America” drew nearly 10 million viewers.

Ratings for CBS are subject to change as the net’s late-afternoon NFL game between the Denver Broncos and New York Giants ran until about 7:50 p.m. ET. In the 8 o’clock hour, which was mostly “60 Minutes” except in the West, CBS averaged a 2.8/8 in 18-49 and 10.9 million viewers overall). It was followed by “Big Brother” (roughly 1.8/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) and a repeat of “The Good Wife” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall).

The football game, the third matchup between quarterback brothers Eli and Peyton Manning, did a huge 17.8 household rating/34 share in the overnights — the best for CBS’ first doubleheader national game in 15 years.

Numbers for Fox’s animated comedy repeats could come down in the nationals due to a few markets with football overruns. “American Dad” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” at both 7:30 (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and 8 (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” at 9 (1.4/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) and 9:30 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 6.3/17; CBS, 2.9/8; Fox, 1.8/5; ABC, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 15.9 million; CBS, 10.3 million; ABC, 6.6 million; Fox, 4.5 million; Univision, 2.9 million; Telemundo, 0.9 million.

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