NEW YORK — Football season has begun, and it has already had an impact on the competition among television networks.
ABC narrowly won the prime-time 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 prime time. 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 prime time. 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.
For the week of Aug. 28-Sept. 3, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 13.13 million; College Football: Florida St. vs Alabama, ABC, 12.34 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 11.09 million; “College Football Pre-Game,” ABC, 7.4 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.05 million; “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 6.13 million; “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 6.11 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 5.85 million; “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 5.65 million; College Football: Ohio St. vs Indiana, ESPN, 5.14 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 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.