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The Washington Redskins defeated the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night in the final game of the NFL's regular season to win the NFC East title and earn a playoff berth.  However, the biggest winner may have been NBC as the game delivered not just the highest rated regular season primetime game of the year… but the highest rated primetime game in 15 years for the league.  Via NBC's announcement…

"Last night’s Cowboys-Redskins game on Sunday Night Football is the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC, and the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game on ANY network in 15 years, according to overnight data released today by The Nielsen Company. The game also generated the best overnight rating for any Cowboys-Redskins primetime matchup in 19 years. The Washington D.C. market had its best rating ever for a primetime NFL game.

Sunday’s game on NBC, in which the Redskins defeated the Cowboys, 28-18, to win the NFC East, drew an 18.3 overnight rating and a 30 share, seven percent higher than last year’s Week 17 game (Cowboys-Giants 17.1/27), which was also a win-and-in game to determine the winner of the NFC East. Last night’s game topped the previous-best NFL regular-season primetime overnight on NBC (18.0/29 for the 2012 Week 1 matchup between the Steelers and Broncos)."

The last primetime regular season game to earn that high of a rating was a December 1997 game between the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers on ABC.  With the teams and stakes involved, you could imagine last night's game earning the best rating of the 2012 season.  The fact that the Cowboys-Redskins numbers are the best NBC has ever recorded for Sunday Night Football shows there is no hotter and more successful television property than the NFL right now.

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