8:50am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Opener Rules Night, Dips From 2012
After Thursday's strong NFL kickoff, Sunday Night Football returned to NBC last night with a win for the Dallas Cowboys and the network. Early returns give the game a 16.6 rating among metered-markets. Fast National returns underestimate the show's performance, and will be adjusted later on Monday, but current stats give the game a 9.1 rating with adults 18-49 -- down seven-tenths of a point (7 percent) from last year's early returns. The game also averaged 23.3 million viewers.
The three-part Football Night in America averaged a 2.1, 3.1 and 7.0 ratings in the three half-hours leading up to the game. Ahead of final adjustments, NBC is averaging 7.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 18.7 million viewers for the night.
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Football was also a boon to Fox. A half-hour of NFL overrun earned a 7.9 rating with adults 18-49, while The OT netted a 7.5 rating. Boosted animation encores finished out the night, giving Fox an average 3.9 rating with adults 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers.
CBS started the night with a 1.6 rating for the U.S. Open women's tennis final. 60 Minutes (1.9 adults) followed, with a one-tenth of a point boost at 9 p.m. for the Big Brother (1.9 adults) Sunday finale. Unforgettable (0.9 adults) dropped one-tenth of a point at 11 p.m. during its sophomore finale. The network averaged a 1.6 rating with adults 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers.
The Secret Millionaire finale (1.1 adults) was up three-tenths of a point on ABC. The network averaged a 0.9 adults rating and 3.95 million viewers for the night.
Univision pulled a 0.6 rating with adults 18-49 and 1.8 million viewers. Telemundo had a 0.3 rating in the demo and 849,000 viewers.