According to the numbers that come into Nielsen Media Research, which measures what people are watching on television, the Dallas Cowboys are still America’s Team.
“I’m not surprised,” said Tom Ziangas, senior vice president for sport at Nielsen. “No. 1, the Cowboys are still very competitive on the field. No. 2, it’s always a soap opera.
”I’m not a big Cowboys fan, but I do understand the Cowboy phenomenon. There’s been the mystique of Gil Brandt, Tom Landry, now a flamboyant owner, Jerry Jones, a line of coaches who are personalities. The numbers don’t lie. People love it.“
For example the Sept. 15 Monday Night Football game on ESPN where Dallas beat Philadelphia 41-37 had 18.6 million viewers, the most ever for a cable program.
The Cowboys’ 20-8 victory over New York Giants on Dec. 14 was seen by 23 million, making it the most-watched game in the three years of Sunday night football on NBC. The Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game Sept. 21 and the Cowboys-Washington Redskins game on Nov. 16 are, so far, the second- and third-highest ranked Sunday night games this year.
The Dec. 20 NFL Network Saturday game (usually the NFL Network games are on Thursdays) when the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cowboys, 33-24, drew 5.76 million viewers, the highest-rated NFL Network game this season and second-highest NFL Network numbers in two years. What’s No. 1? The Packers-Cowboys game in 2007 which had 10 million viewers.
”The NFL may be the best-marketed professional sports league there is,“ Ziangas said, ”and the Cowboys are one of the best-marketed teams there is. It’s a pretty potent combination.“
So there’s no use complaining when we get blanket coverage on any Terrell Owens controversy or about who Tony Romo is dating. The Cowboys play the Eagles on Sunday. It’s televised nationally on Fox. I don’t have to tell you to tune in. You already do.
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