NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks into the season, two different winners have been crowned in a tight battle for prime-time supremacy among the television networks.
Fox took first place last week in the Nielsen company's rankings, buoyed by its Thursday night NFL game between the L.A. Rams and Seattle. Late-running Sunday afternoon football also helped Fox.
With the ever-increasing number of people watching prime-time programs on a delayed basis, it inflates the importance of live events like football in the weekly ranking. But Fox also had strong showings from "The Masked Singer" and its drama, "911," with a popular tsunami story line.
NBC won the ratings race last week, and was a close second this week, Nielsen said.
Unlike Fox and NBC, former long-time champ CBS doesn't have an NFL prime-time game. The network's "NCIS" was the week's most popular scripted show, while "Young Sheldon" was the favorite comedy.
Fox averaged 6.7 million viewers for the week, followed by NBC's 6.5 million, CBS at 6.2 million, ABC at 4.7 million, Univision with 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 790,000.
ESPN averaged 2.86 million viewers to be the most popular cable network for the week. Fox News Channel had 2.65 million, TBS had 2.51 million, MSNBC had 2.04 million and TLC had 1.07 million.
ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" was second with 7.4 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.2 million viewers.
For the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 6, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Indianapolis at Kansas City, NBC, 18.13 million; "NFL Postgame," Fox, 17.49 million; NFL Football: L.A. Rams at Seattle, Fox, 14.41 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 12.89 million; "NCIS," CBS, 12.52 million; NFL Football: Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, ESPN, 10.81 million; "FBI," CBS, 9.47 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 9.04 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 8.75 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.62 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by Fox Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.