TV Ratings: Giants and Cowboys Give 'Sunday Night Football' a Record-Setting Season Finisher

Cowboys Giants Jan 1 - H 2012
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Cowboys Giants Jan 1 - H 2012

America chose to ring in the New Year with Sunday Night Football. The Jan 1. NFC East game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, which pushed the Giants into the play-offs, delivered the franchise's best overnight household rating in history -- a 17.1

Fast affiliate returns also gave the game an average of 23.7 million viewers over the course of the broadcast, with a 8.7 rating among adults 18-49. This gave the network an easy win against blocks of reruns from the lingering hiatus, averaging 20.2 million for the night and a 7.0 in the key demo.

Buoyed by NFL overrun, CBS came in second place, averaging 10.7 million and a 2.3 rating among 18-49-ers. Those numbers will drop when final ratings are available.

Fox's animation reruns managed to outperform ABC's four-hour marathon of Once Upon a Time repeats. Fox averaged a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49, with 3.9 million viewers, while ABC pulled a 1.1 rating and 3.8 million viewers.

More to come.