Tiger tees off on preseason NFL

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NEW YORK -- Tiger Woods' win at the PGA Championship spotlighted an afternoon and evening of television that overshadowed the usual can't-miss preseason football.

CBS won the night in viewership and the adults 18-49 demographic with the golf coverage, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research. Final numbers will come in Tuesday, though it's likely that Sunday night's Seattle Seahawks-San Diego Chargers preseason matchup on NBC will be down significantly compared with last season's premiere Sunday night telecast.

But what was NBC's loss was CBS' gain, as well as Woods' 13th career major title. While last year's telecast rated higher, this year's 6.8 household metered market rating/15 share was no slouch. It was the fifth-highest-rated final round since 1986, according to preliminary estimates.

Last year Woods' win at the PGA scored a 7.2/16, and the highest in the past 20 years was the 10.0/23 in 2000 for Woods' second PGA Championship title. Ratings for the PGA Championship on Sunday peaked from 6:30-7 p.m. EDT with a 9.4/19, Nielsen said.

That was good for the rest of CBS' schedule, starting off with "60 Minutes" (10 million, 2.1/8). The newsmagazine was the night's top show. A new episode of "Big Brother" (8.2 million, 2.8/9) won the hour in both demos, though the 9:30 p.m. episode of "Family Guy" (6.5 million, 3.1/9) was tops for the night in adults 18-49.

NBC's coverage of the NFL game averaged 5.3 million viewers at 8 p.m. and a 1.6/5 in adults 18-49. It peaked at 5.5 million at 9 p.m. and fell to 5 million at 10:30 p.m., according to preliminary estimates. By contrast, CBS averaged 7.5 million viewers and a 1.8/5 for a 10 p.m. repeat of "Shark." The game was down 56% to a 1.6/5 for the night compared with last year's Oakland Raiders-Philadelphia Eagles game that ended up with a 3.9/11 in the demo on Aug. 6, 2006.

Meanwhile, the reimagining of "Flash Gordon" struck lightning for Sci Fi Channel. Nielsen data said that Friday's premiere was the best series premiere telecast for 2007 for the channel, averaging 2.1 million viewers, including 973,000 adults 18-49 and 1.2 million adults 25-54. It was the third-highest-rated cable program in prime Friday night in adults 25-54, the network said.

For the night, CBS averaged 8.3 million viewers and a 2.2/7 in the demo, followed by NBC (5.3 million, 1.6/5), ABC (5 million, 1.6/5), Fox (4.4 million, 2.0/6) and the CW (1 million, 0.4/1).
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