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NBC Wins November Sweeps for First Time in Nine Years

Comcast Corp.’s NBC said it won the November “sweeps” ratings contest, drawing the most prime-time TV viewers in a key age group for advertisers for the first time in nine years.

Based on preliminary Nielsen data, the network averaged a larger audience in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic than CBS Corp.’s CBS, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC and News Corp.’s Fox, NBC said today in an e-mailed statement. NBC hadn’t finished first since 2003.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the highest rated prime-time series on any day, averaging a 7.6 rating. The singing competition “The Voice” was the top unscripted series of sweeps, according to the statement. “Revolution,” which airs on Mondays after “The Voice,” was the top new drama with a 2.8 rating.

Comcast, which purchased a controlling stake in NBC Universal in January 2011, has invested billions in the broadcast network to improve its programming. NBC finished the 2011-2012 TV season in third place among 18-to-49 year olds after seven consecutive years in last place.

The sweeps end Nov. 21 and official results for the month will be released Nov. 26 by Nielsen. NBC will have to overcome the challenge of losing “Sunday Night Football” at the end of December as it competes with Fox’s “American Idol,” which begins in January, to maintain its lead through May 2013, when the TV season ends.

Comcast rose 1.5 percent to $36.56 at the close in New York. The Philadelphia-based company’s shares have gained 54 percent this year.

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