Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2017
NCAA Football Helps ABC Score Weekly Nielsen Win
Virginia Tech players and coaches celebrate after an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. Virginia Tech won 31-24. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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Football season has begun, and it has already had an impact on the competition among television networks.

ABC narrowly won the primetime ratings race last week on the strength of its coverage of college football games involving Florida State and Alabama, and West Virginia and Virginia Tech. The network took the week’s crown from NBC, which usually wins in the summer on the strength of “America’s Got Talent.”

The Nielsen company said Wednesday that “Talent” was the most-watched show of the week, but the Florida St.-Alabama opener was close behind, and earned ABC its largest Saturday-night audience in 19 months.

For the week, ABC averaged 4.61 million viewers in primetime. NBC had 4.59 million, CBS had 3.9 million, Fox had 2.3 million, Univision and Telemundo were tied at 1.41 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and the CW had 850,000.

Fox News Channel was the most popular cable network, averaging 2.13 million viewers in primetime. ESPN had 1.78 million, MSNBC had 1.75 million, USA had 1.59 million and HGTV had 1.36 million.

NBC’s “Nightly News” (8.516 million) and ABC’s “World News Tonight” (8.514 million) were virtually tied in the evening news ratings race. The “CBS Evening News” had 6.2 million.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Aug. 28-Sept. 3. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 13.13 million.
2. College Football: Florida St. vs Alabama, ABC, 12.34 million.
3. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 11.09 million.
4. “College Football Pre-Game,” ABC, 7.4 million.
5. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.05 million.
6. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 6.13 million.
7. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 6.11 million.
8. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.85 million.
9. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 5.65 million.
10. College Football: Ohio St. vs Indiana, ESPN, 5.14 million.
11. “Bull,” CBS, 5.1 million.
12. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 5.097 million.
13. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 5.08 million.
14. “Bachelor in Paradise,” ABC, 5.05 million.
15. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 4.89 million.
16. College Football: West Virginia vs Virginia Tech, ABC, 4.65 million.
17. “Marlon,” NBC, 4.56 million.
18. “Hollywood Game Night,” NBC, 4.41 million.
19. “Hawaii Five-O,” CBS, 4.39 million.
20. “Dateline Classic,” NBC, 4.25 million.