TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Opener Rules Night, Dips From 2012

Sports rules the night on several networks, while the tight match between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys falls short of last season's premiere for the NBC flagship.
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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.