Based on the early metered market data, Fox had a commanding lead Sunday night thanks to huge football overrun with the Dallas Cowboys losing to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime. The overrun led to a 17.1/31 (household rating/share) from 7-7:30 and a 15.0/26 from 7:30-8p. I think the game wound up going until around 7:45 with "The OT" being on the last 15 minutes of that half hour. Even in losing, and only partial national coverage, the Dallas Cowboys are still a ratings juggernaut.
Game 3 of the NLCS pulled in a 6.8/9 from 8p-11p for Fox. The Los Angeles Dodgers took an early lead and never looked back. And remember, the data for live sporting events always changes.
Speaking of taking an early lead and never looking back, the San Diego Chargers thumped the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. The game scored a below average 9.0/15 from 8:30p-11p, but even a lousy football game scored a higher rating than PLAYOFF baseball. Can there be any doubt what sport is really America's pastime?
Over on ABC Desperate Housewives scored a 10.1/15 to be the most-watched non sporting related event of the evening. Brothers & Sisters had a 7.2/12. Earlier in the night Extreme Makeover: Home Edition had a 7.1/11.
CBS had strength (not sure about football overrun on CBS last night) with 60 Minutes (8.1/14), but that was the best of the night for them. Amazing Race had a 5.9/9, Cold Case a 7.5/11 and The Unit a 6.1/10.
Meanwhile the Sunday night lineup on the CW which is programmed by MRC (Media Rights Capital) was so low it was hardly measurable. Valentine with an 0.8/1 was it's best performer -- and could be the only show of the night that cracked a million viewers. We'll see when the fast affiliate results are available...
Metered Market Overnight Ratings: This is normally the first available ratings information, and is based on the electronic measurement service that Nielsen provides in 56 of the nation’s largest markets. In each market a sample of homes is selected to represent that individual market. Often, networks or syndicators provide metered market information as an early indicator of a program’s performance. In aggregate, the 56 metered markets represent 79,890,610 homes, or 70% of all U.S. TV households. Preliminary metered market data are available as early as 8:00AM (ET). Final metered market information, reflecting line-up changes, pre-emptions and runovers, are normally available by 3:30PM (ET).