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TV Ratings: Of Course, NBC & Football Win; Three Rivers Ratings Flatline

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October 12th, 2009

Colts Titans Football
Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (Sunday Night Football), ABC (NASCAR race) and CBS (~45 minute football overrun) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Scoreboard NBC CBS ABC FOX Uni
Adults 18-49: rating/Share 4.5/12 3.6/9 3.2/8 3.0/8 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 3.9/12 2.5/7 2.3/7 3.6/11 0.8/2
Total Viewers (million) 11.992 12.553 9.995 6.278 2.121

NBC and Sunday Night Football, as always, were the ratings winner on the night, but another blowout game lead to a bit more erosion in the ratings. And while an afternoon NFL overrun both boosted and scrambled CBS's ratings, things didn't improve for Three Rivers.

Unfortunately for NBC, the first half of the season schedule for Sunday Night Football is locked in and they got stuck with another blowout last night. The game pushed their overall nightly ratings down 0.8 adults 18-49 ratings points from last week.

The past two Sunday's are instructive in the benefits to Fox and CBS of their afternoon NFL game overruns to their Sunday night averages. Last week with an overrun, Fox Sunday night average ratings soared, this week it was CBS' turn. The NFL gives and the NFL takes away.

Because of this I discount the week to week changes in both the Fox and CBS shows. The Simpsons was down 18% in the adults 18-49 demo ratings (3.6 rating vs. 4.4), The Cleveland Show down 10% (3.8 vs. 4.2), Family Guy down 12% (4.5 vs. 5.1), American Dad down 6% (3.4 vs. 3.6).

Untangling CBS's results from last night is messy until we see the final numbers this afternoon, but, as is typical, its early shows got big boosts, but its later shows received little benefit. It looks like Three Rivers adults 18-49 demo ratings slid from their premiere 2.0 rating, but I can't be sure with the numbers we have.

After an uptick last Sunday, ABC's 18-49 ratings generally slid. America's Funniest Home Videos was stable vs. last week, but Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (down 6%), Desperate Housewives (down 8%), and Brother & Sisters (down 8%) all fell to their lowest ratings of the season.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 CBS NFL Overrun 7.5 23 22.679
ABC NASCAR: Pepsi 500 2.5 8 8.913
NBC Football Night In America 1.8 5 5.375
FOX Brothers 1.1 3 2.949
7:30 CBS NFL Overrun/60 Minutes 5.7 16 18.814
NBC Football Night In America 2.8 8 7.593
ABC America's Funniest Home Videos 2.2 6 7.405
FOX The Cleveland Show (repeat) 1.7 5 3.845
8:00 NBC Football Night In America 4.3 12 11.399
CBS 60 Minutes 3.7 10 14.636
FOX The Simpsons 3.6 10 7.547
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2.6 7 8.830
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Colts v. Titans 5.5 14 14.680
FOX The Cleveland Show 3.8 10 7.779
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 3.3 8 10.748
CBS 60 Min./The Amazing Race 3.1 8 11.548
9:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Colts v. Titans 5.9 14 15.738
FOX Family Guy 4.5 11 8.881
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.3 10 13.059
CBS The Amazing Race 3.0 7 10.124
9:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Colts v. Titans 6.0 14 15.637
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.5 11 13.049
FOX American Dad 3.4 8 6.667
CBS Race/Three Rivers 2.1 5 7.970
10:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Colts v. Titans 5.4 13 13.382
ABC Brothers & Sisters 3.1 8 9.462
CBS Three Rivers 1.7 4 7.422
10:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Colts v. Titans 4.7 13 12.132
ABC Brothers & Sisters 2.7 7 8.491
CBS Three Rivers/Cold Case 1.7 5 7.232

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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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