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Even With Super Bowl Boost, CBS Will Not Challenge Fox For Season 18-49 Ratings Crown

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February 24th, 2010

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

ABC is now down 12% in adults 18-49 vs. last season. Sure, part of that is suffering with repeats these past two weeks vs. the Olympics, we'll see how much their comparisons recover post Vancouver.

CBS got a nice boost (~10%) with the Super Bowl vs. last season without it, and NBC is suffering a similar drag on its comparison, because it had the Super Bowl last year (but has a Winter Olympics boost this season). In future weeks, I hope to have comparisons factoring out those special events, but I have something I need to check in my data which prevented it this week.

Fox continues up vs. last season across the board. They are suffering vs. the Olympics as well, and should pick up afterwards.

In looking at the CW's ratings averages note that 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

I've included some new numbers in the Season To Date chart this week (and going forward) that will show the season to date ratings minus a few extraordinary events for CBS and NBC. The xCBS number is the CBS season to date ratings average minus the entire Super Bowl week. The xNBC number is the NBC season to date ratings average minus each week (2 so far) with any Winter Olympics telecasts. Unfortunately, with the data I get, I can do no better than exclude entire weeks. Those numbers should not be considered "official", and there are always errors possible. I will do the same thing for the season to season changes (below) once I sort out some other issues with the data.

Even with the Super Bowl boost to CBS, Fox has a commanding lead in adults 18-49 for the season, and they will not be challenged. 25-54 is another story, CBS is now ahead of Fox, and may well stay ahead, but that will likely turn out to be close. Of course, remove the Super Bowl week, and CBS and Fox are neck and neck.

The Winter Olympics have boosted NBC out of fourth place in adults 18-49, for now. They'll likely be passed by ABC again before the end of the season.

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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