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Sunday Ratings: Academy Awards Up 13% From Last Year's Record Low

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February 23rd, 2009

Scoreboard ABC FOX CBS NBC Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 29.147 9.684 7.329 5.311 2.887 1.256
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 9.6/23 3.6/9 1.8/4 1.6/4 1.2/3 0.4/1
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 8.7/23 2.6/7 1.2/3 1.1/3 1.2/3 0.3/1

Update: the awards averaged 36.3 million and a 12.1 rating among adults 18-49  according to ABC.

The 81st Academy Awards show managed to bounce off its record low viewership of just over 32 million last year, gaining a bit over 13% in average viewership. But still was the third lowest rated Oscars in history. For the night, ABC averaged 29.1 million viewers and a 9.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, both up from the fast affiliate results last year.

Both the Barbara Walters Special and Oscars Red Carpet pre shows were up from last year as well.

As it did last year, Fox counter programmed well with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Fontana, CA, averaging 9.7 million viewers and a 3.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, about the same as last year.  CBS was well back, doing about the same as last year as the Amazing Race and repeats last night were on par with Big Brother and Dexter from the WGA strike period. For NBC, Dateline and  the Top 100 Most Outrageous Moments special did a bit better than 4 L&O:SVU repeats last year. The dreck the CW programmed this year did as well in the 18-49 demo as the dreck they programmed last year.

Note that these fast affiliate ratings numbers are not time zone adjusted, and particularly for the live events on ABC and Fox are subject to significant revision, see below.

For comparison here is last Sunday's overnight report.

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Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (000s) 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share
7:00 ABC Barbara Walters Special 17.710 5.3 14 4.6 14
FOX NASCAR Sprint Cup: Fontana 9.943 3.5 9 2.4 7
CBS 60 Minutes 9.151 1.7 5 1.2 4
NBC Dateline NBC 4.505 1.1 3 0.7 2
UNI Hora Pico 2.132 1.0 3 1.0 3
CW Jericho (repeat) 0.795 0.3 1 0.2 1
7:30 CW Tomorrow Never Dies (movie) 1.115 0.4 1 0.2 1
8:00 ABC Oscars Red Carpet 29.895 9.3 22 8.2 23
FOX NASCAR Sprint Cup: Fontana 9.503 3.5 8 2.7 7
CBS Amazing Race 14 7.832 2.6 6 1.8 5
NBC Dateline NBC 4.710 1.4 3 0.9 2
UNI El Gran Estreno: Voces Inocentes (movie) 3.366 1.4 3 1.4 4
CW Tomorrow Never Dies (movie) 1.244 0.4 1 0.3 1
8:30 ABC 81st Academy Awards 37.699 12.2 28 11.0 28
9:00 ABC 81st Academy Awards 33.914 11.3 25 10.3 25
FOX NASCAR Sprint Cup: Fontana 9.606 3.7 8 2.8 7
CBS Cold Case (repeat) 6.903 1.6 4 1.1 3
NBC Top 100 Most Outrageous Moments 2 5.180 1.7 4 1.1 3
UNI El Gran Estreno: Voces Inocentes (movie) 3.879 1.6 4 1.6 4
CW Tomorrow Never Dies (movie) 1.570 0.5 1 0.4 1
10:00 ABC 81st Academy Awards 31.170 10.8 26 9.9 26
NBC Top 100 Most Outrageous Moments 2 6.849 2.2 5 1.7 4
CBS The Unit (repeat) 5.429 1.2 3 0.8 2
UNI ¿Quién Tiene la Razón? 2.171 0.8 2 0.7 2

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Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. Source Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

Definitions:

Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

 
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