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Big Night for Emmys, Bigger Night for Football TVbytheNumbers

Sunday was a good night for CBS in the Nielsen ratings, with viewership surging for the Emmy Awards ceremony. But it was an even better night for NBC, thanks to "Sunday Night Football."

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the Emmys delivered a 4.9 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, based on time-zone-adjusted Nielsen fast nationals. That's up from a 3.8 for the equivalent number a year ago, which was eventually adjusted up to a 3.9.

The Emmys also delivered 17.63 million total viewers, which CBS announced was the best number for the awards since 2005. The network added that the numbers were the best since 2006 in a number of demos, including adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. The 2005 ceremony aired on CBS and did not go up against football, the network noted. The 2006 ceremony aired in August on NBC.

Compared with last year's results, Sunday's Emmy Awards ceremony was up 26% in adults 18-49 (4.9 average rating, up from a 3.9), 21% in adults 25-54 (5.8 average, up from 4.8), 50% in adults 18-34 (4.5 average, up from 3.0) and 33% in total viewers (17.63 million, up from 13.26 million), the network reported.

NBC, however, wound up as the top network in broadcast prime time Sunday night, with "Sunday Night Football" coverage of the Bears-Steelers game responsible for the bulk of it. The game came in with a preliminary 6.9 average rating, down from a preliminary 7.4 a week ago. Leading into the game, NBC filled out its prime-time lineup with "Football Night in America" pregame coverage.

The preliminary numbers are subject to more than the usual adjustments, due to the nature of live programming. But the way things look initially for prime time overall, NBC leads the way in the 18-49 demo with a 5.5 average rating, followed by CBS with a 4.8. The rest of the broadcast nets are far behind: Fox has a 1.1 average, followed by Univision (1.0) and ABC (0.6). ABC and Fox aired all-repeat programming.

CBS won the night in total viewers, averaging 16.3 million to lead NBC (15.2 million), ABC (3.3 million), Univision (2.8 million) and Fox (2.6 million).