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TV Ratings: Sunday Night Football Wins; Three Rivers Runs Dry

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Written By

October 5th, 2009

Three-Rivers-CBS
Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (Sunday Night Football) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Scoreboard NBC FOX ABC CBS Uni
Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 5.3/13 4.8/12 3.4/9 2.3/6 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 4.7/13 5.3/13 2.7/7 1.4/4 0.8/2
Total Viewers (million) 13.198 10.712 10.891 10.438 2.244

NBC's Sunday Night Football delivered the ratings win to NBC, but showing surprising strength, Fox's animation lineup was close behind. CBS' Three Rivers debuted with a DOA 2.0 adults 18-49 rating.

ABC, NBC and Fox were all up vs. last Sunday night, only CBS, without a football overrun and saddled by the Three Rivers premiere was down. Sunday has turned out to be CBS' biggest problem this fall by a longshot.

CBS' Three Rivers premiere limped in with a "cancel me now" 2.0 adults 18-49 rating. It's a goner. Let the fan lamentations begin!

The season premiere of America's Funniest Home Videos could manage only 0.1 adults 18-49 ratings points more than a repeat of Extreme Makeover's repeat last Sunday at 7pm. And while the TV media loves to tout 60 Minutes staying power/strength, without a football overrun it sank to a very mortal 2.3 rating.

Even though it was a blow-out, the Sunday Night Football game was up in the 18-49 in every half hour vs. last Sunday. Scheduling the Super Bowl champions = ratings bonus.

Fox's animation line up did quite well, challenging NBC for the 18-49 demo and winning the 18-34 demo outright. The Simpsons was up a tenth of a ratings point vs. its premiere last week, and the rest of the animation line up settled down a few tenths from their premieres.

The epitaph for Desperate Housewives may have been a bit premature, it tallied a 4.9 18-49 demo rating up 0.3 ratings points in the 18-49 demo from last week, and Brothers & Sisters was up 0.2 points.

CBS has conveniently loaded up its biggest losers on Sunday night, although Cold Case fell a tenth of a ratings point down to just (my bad, I looked at the timeslot which had some Amazing Race time in it) from last Sunday was up from its rating last week to a 2.2 18-49 demo rating. As far as I know it aired at its regular timeslot everywhere, what will its fans blame this week? (Ah, of course, the Three Rivers lead in!)

No football overrun seems to have hurt The Amazing Race as well as it fell 0.6 ratings points from last week to a 2.8 adults 18-49 demo rating.

There may have been football overruns on Fox and CBS, I will include that information when I get it.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 FOX NFL Football 7.6 22 19.340
NBC Football Night In America 2.9 8 7.396
CBS 60 Minutes 2.3 7 12.948
ABC America's Funniest Home Videos (premiere) 2.2 6 7.983
7:30 FOX The OT 4.2 12 10.191
8:00 NBC Football Night/SNF 5.2 14 13.830
FOX The Simpsons 4.3 11 9.317
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 3.4 8 11.702
CBS The Amazing Race 2.8 7 9.949
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Chargers v. Steelers 6.5 16 17.073
FOX The Cleveland Show 4.2 10 8.700
9:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Chargers v. Steelers 6.5 15 16.375
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.9 12 14.267
FOX Family Guy 4.9 11 9.668
CBS Three Rivers (series premiere) 2.0 5 9.171
9:30 FOX American Dad 3.5 8 7.057
10:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Chargers v. Steelers 5.8 15 13.570
ABC Brothers & Sisters 3.2 8 9.612
CBS Cold Case 2.2 5 9.686

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You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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 and Numbers 102.

  • In metered-market households, football ruled the night, with NBC's 8-11 p.m. average 12.8/21 in the metered markets establishing a 19% margin of victory over CBS's second-place 10.8/17.
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