- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Football gave NBC a welcome kick last week.

NBC can thank the weather for its unaccustomed ratings win. Last Tuesday’s special edition of “NBC Sunday Night Football,” featuring the Minnesota Vikings’ upset of the Philadelphia Eagles, had been postponed by the blizzard. It was the week’s most-watched broadcast, drawing 23.7 million viewers.

Then NBC scored again five days later with another, regularly scheduled “Sunday Night Football” with the Seattle Seahawks beating the St. Louis Rams. Ranking second for the week, that game was seen by 19.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Co. figures released Tuesday.

Meanwhile, CBS can claim 11 of the top 20 broadcasts. CBS took the runner-up spot in prime-time audience overall.

Season-to-date, CBS remains the No. 1 network, followed by ABC, NBC and Fox.

For the week, NBC averaged 8.6 million viewers (5.0 household rating, 9 share), followed by CBS with 8.4 million (5.2 rating, 9 share), ABC with 5.4 million (3.2 rating, 6 share) and Fox with 4.9 million (3.0 rating, 5 share). ION Television had 1.4 million (0.9 rating, 2 share) and the CW had 1.1 million (0.6 rating, 1 share).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a prime-time average of 3.1 million viewers (1.5 rating, 3 share), while TeleFutura had 1.1 million (0.5 rating, 1 share), Telemundo had 910,000 viewers (0.5 rating, 1 share), Azteca had 230,000 and Estrella had 220,000 (both with 0.1 rating, 0 share).

In cable, final Nielsen figures show that Oprah Winfrey’s network got a healthy reception its first day on the air.

Launching at 12 noon EST on Saturday, OWN opened with a one-hour special, “Oprah’s Guide to OWN,” which drew 770,000 viewers. The audience for the network’s full day averaged 663,000 viewers, peaking from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST, when the network aired two episodes of its reality series, “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes.” Each of those shows was seen by more than 1.1 million viewers.

In the race among the three evening newscasts, NBC’s “Nightly News” was on top with an average of 10.0 million viewers (6.3 household rating, 12 share). ABC’s “World News” was second with 8.8 million (5.7 rating, 11 share) and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.4 million viewers (4.2 rating, 8 share).

A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Dec. 27-Jan. 2, the top 10 prime-time shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football (Tuesday): Minnesota at Philadelphia, NBC, 23.74 million; NFL Football (Sunday): St. Louis at Seattle, NBC, 19.36 million; “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 15.06 million; “Tuesday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 14.51 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 12.85 million; “The OT,” Fox, 12.27 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 12.19 million; “Undercover Boss,” CBS, 11.87 million; “Football Night in America,” NBC, 11.54 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 10.92 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. Univision and TeleFutura are owned by Broadcasting Media Partners Inc. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.




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