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CBS Has Fallen Further vs. Last Season Than ABC, And Nearly As Much As NBC

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January 20th, 2010

Ratings Increase / Decrease: 2009-10 Season vs. 2008-9 Season

CBS' primetime ratings for this season are now further behind last season's ratings on a percentage basis than are ABC's, and only marginally better than the losses suffered by media whipping boy NBC. Count on the television press to not mention this.

The Winter Olympics will substantially cover NBC's coming spring ratings carnage for the rest of the TV media that's allergic to subtraction, but I'll have running comparisons to last season's numbers with and without the Olympics in this weekly chart.

Still up across the board vs. last season, Fox's season averages have begun to slowly fall back towards last season's and its comparisons have become less impressive. So far, American Idol's done about 3% worse for adults 18-49 vs. last season. That's better than I predicted (~10%), and if it holds up would likely have Fox celebrating.

The CW's ratings averages are ahead of last season in adults 18-49, but they would be about 20% ahead of last season across the board if they'd just kept their Monday-Friday numbers steady because of the automatic boost to their ratings averages just by dumping Sunday nights. Compared to last season, the CW's Monday-Friday ratings averages are down, but don't be surprised if the CW's crack PR troops can pull one over on the credulous TV media.

Season To Date Ratings

Fox leads for adults 18-49 and 18-34 and now that American Idol has begun would be certain to hold those leads for the rest of the season if it weren't for the boosts that  the Winter Olympics will give NBC and the Super Bowl will give CBS. We'll have to look at the numbers after those big sports events to see the new situation.

Fox holds the top 18-34 average, and is unlikely to give it up even with the Olympics boost to NBC. CBS continues to hold both the adults 25-54 rating title (which Fox may challenge depending on how Idol does), and the average viewership title, which is unlikely to be challenged except possibly by NBC after the Olympics.

You can see past week's broadcast network primetime season to date average TV ratings results here.

Each rating point is a percentage of the US TV population in that demographic group and equals: 2.90 million viewers, 1.32 million adults 18-49, 0.68 million adults 18-34 and 1.24 million adults 25-54.

Note that the chart includes RATINGS not VIEWERSHIP as was typical in our weekly network ratings posts prior to July, 2009.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
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