Broadcast Networks Lose 7% of Viewers, 8% of Adults 18-49 This Season

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October 8th, 2008

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The top 5 English Broadcast Networks have lost 6.6% of their total viewers, 7.9% of their adults 18-49 viewers, 9.0% of their adults 18-34 viewers and 7.2% of their adults 25-54 viewers compared to last season through week two of the 2008-9 season.

The news is not universally bad, however. Both Fox and the CW show some gains compared to the first two weeks of last season. CW is up 3.3% for adults 18-49, up 12.9% for adults 18-34, and up 0.8% for adults 25-54. Although we're well known CW skeptics, I've got to say so far, so good. Fox's results were also mostly positive. Fox's viewership is effectively flat, but it's up 2.8% in adults 18-49, and up 5.4% in adults 25-54, while being down 2.2% for adults 18-34. On balance, they can be relatively happy.

On the downside, NBC is in free fall, losing 15.7% of its viewers, 16.7% of its adults 18-49, 15.8% of its adults 18-34, and 16.5% of its adults 25-54. Let the Ben Silverman pink slip watch intensify!

ABC and CBS had losses nearly as severe as NBC's dropping 4-6% of their viewers and even higher percentages of their desirable adult demo audiences.

Univision stands in sharp contrast to the overall trend, up in every category, sharply up in both viewers (14.1%) and adults 18-34 (13.1%).

Our chart shows broadcast network prime-time season to date average prime-time viewership for the 2008-9 season compared to the 2007-8 season.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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