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NFL Sunday Night Football (on a Thursday, no less) kicked off its third season on NBC and easily dominated the night despite.
The Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants game (13.6 million viewers, 5.4 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and a 15 share) had an earlier-than-usual start time to avoid clashing with coverage of the Republican National Convention and was down 27% from last year. The game gave an enormous lead-in for NBC’s coverage of Republican nominee John McCain’s speech, which in the prelims show NBC News outpacing rivals by 2-to-1. The NFL game, once considered a potential impediment to RNC viewership, may have helped give McCain a record-setting audience. Game coverage only bled one minute into the 10 p.m. hour.
Fox placed second with a two-hour edition of “Kitchen Nightmares” (5.3 million, 2.4/7). The episode was part clip show, part new material, with Gordon Ramsay checking on restaurants he visited during the show’s first season.
CBS was third with “Big Brother” (6.5 million, 2.2/7). ABC was fourth with repeats.
Convention ratings will be posted soon.
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