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NBC Ratings Losses vs. Last Season Are Increasingly Grim

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February 3rd, 2010

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

The ratings losses at NBC vs. last season are looking increasingly grim, much worse than in the fall when the TV media were all over them for the Lenopocalypse. But now that NBC has issued a Leno mea culpa the bashing has ended, yet NBC's ratings are comparatively worse! Of course, the Winter Olympics will boost NBC's averages tremendously, but I'll separate the Olympics ratings out as best I can and report "with" and "without" results here. Don't expect the rest of the TV media to do that.

Fox's season ratings comparisons vs. last season will likely continue to slip back towards even, but not as fast as I might have expected. American Idol is down just 5% in adults 18-49 ratings vs. last season so far. That's good news for Fox and bad news for Idol haters.

CBS, ABC  continue down across the board vs. last season. The Super Bowl will give CBS' numbers a big boost, likely into the positive range vs. last season. Count on the credulous TV media to ignore that and write "CBS is doing just fine" stories without looking at the numbers closely.

The CW's ratings averages are mostly flat compared to last season, 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 remains in a season tie with CBS for adults 25-54 and widened its leads for adults 18-49 and 18-34 , while CBS seized the season to date viewership lead and my guess is will not let it go before the end of the season.

If it weren't for the boosts that  the Winter Olympics will give NBC and the Super Bowl will give CBS, Fox's clean sweep of the main adult viewing demos would be all but assured. As it is, we'll have to see how those big sporting events reshape the averages going forward. The Super Bowl will boost CBS's season averages by about 10% from a single night.

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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