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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Americans like pro football

No. 6 Desperate Housewives Network: ABC Cast: Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Nicollette Sheridan Timeslot: Sunday, 9 p.m. Rating/Share: 10.9 / 16 Audience: 12,503,000 Total viewers: 17,416,000 Number of episodes: 9 (Credit: ABC Photo)

I could stop boring you with NFL ratings superlatives, but to do so would be to ignore one of the biggest sports media stories of the year.

The gravity-defying rise in pro football's popularity continues to rivet the business, with the most popular theory being that the recession has encouraged people to sit in their homes and watch TV all day and night.

(Another benefit of staying home: no drunk morons sitting next to you. Well, at least no drunk morons who are not friends or relatives.)

Sunday's Packers-Cowboys and Patriots-Colts games attracted 26.7 million and 22.4 million viewers, respectively. The former was the most-watched TV show of any kind for the week, and the latter was the most-watched prime time show, again whipping "Desperate Housewives" head to head.

Fox's late afternoon window on its doubleheader weeks is the most popular show of the current television season - sports or otherwise.

Add in the fact athletic events mostly are DVR-proof, and the value of sports programming relative to other TV fare never has been higher.

Photo: ABC

Tags: NFL

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