Sunday night's big victory by the Washington Redskins over the Dallas Cowboys set a record for NBC prime time TV -- and that's saying something for the No. 1 show on television.
The ratings jackpot is well-deserved. The Redskins played a gutty, emotional and smart game with their stars going all out and leaving everything on the field.
And NBC's peerless broadcast team delivered another gem of a telecast. The work of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in the booth Sunday night was the match of any team in the history of NFL television.
Watching the game Sunday night was such a joy -- both what was on the field and in the booth -- that it almost washed the sour taste of the Ravens game out of my mouth. Second-string Ravens players on the field and fourth-string CBS broadcasters in the booth made for a toxic TV cocktail.
Baltimore was the eighth highest-rated market for the game. I think a lot of bummed out Ravens fans like me spent the night in NBC-Redskins rapture.
Congratulations to Washington viewers for the record they set with their TV support of the team as well. We used to have that kind of passion for the Ravens telecasts. Maybe we still do. We'll see this weekend.
Here's the release for NBC:
Last night's Cowboys-Redskins game on Sunday Night Football is the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC, and the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game on ANY network in 15 years, according to overnight data released today by The Nielsen Company.
The game also generated the best overnight rating for any Cowboys-Redskins primetime matchup in 19 years. The Washington D.C. market had its best rating ever for a primetime NFL game.
Sunday's game on NBC, in which the Redskins defeated the Cowboys, 28-18, to win the NFC East, drew an 18.3 overnight rating and a 30 share, seven percent higher than last year's Week 17 game (Cowboys-Giants 17.1/27), which was also a win-and-in game to determine the winner of the NFC East. Last night's game topped the previous-best NFL regular-season primetime overnight on NBC (18.0/29 for the 2012 Week 1 matchup between the Steelers and Broncos).
Other Ratings Notes:
The Washington D.C market has its best overnight rating (44.6/68) for a regular-season primetime game in the history of Nielsen People Meters (since 1987), topping the previous high of 43.0/63 for Cowboys-Redskins, Sept. 6, 1993 on ABC).
Best overnight rating for any regular-season primetime game on ANY network in 15 years (Broncos-49ers, 19.3/30, Dec. 15, 1997 on ABC).
Best overnight rating for an NFL primetime regular-season final game in 18 years (19.6/33 for 49ers-Vikings, Dec. 26, 1994 on ABC).
Best overnight for a Cowboys-Redskins primetime matchup in 19 years (20.7/34 on Sept 6, 1993 on ABC).
NOTE: Official national ratings and viewership will be available on Thursday.
BEST OVERNIGHT NFL REGULAR-SEASON PRIMETIME GAMES ON NBC:
Steelers- Broncos, 9/9/12
* NFL Kickoff Games
TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR COWBOYS-REDSKINS:
1. Washington D.C.
T5. San Antonio
T9. New Orleans