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As Season Winds Down, Fox Ratings Slip To Even vs. Last Season

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May 19th, 2010

As the fat lady begins to clear her throat, Fox has slipped to even with last season in the main adult demo ratings categories. Even though in today's broadcast television world where "even is the new up", that's little consolation for the folks selling advertising based on adults 18-49 ratings.

The current week, #35, is the final full week of the 2009-10 broadcast season.

Don't be fooled by CBS being even vs. last season in most demos, that's all just due to the boost received from the Super Bowl. Look at the light pink bars to see how they'd have done without it.

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

  • Fox is now flat vs. last season in all the main adult demo ratings categories, and up only in average viewership.
  • CBS is up only in adults 18-34 vs. last season, due to boost they received during Super Bowl week. Without it, they'd be down across the board in the adult demo ratings.
  • NBC, even with the Winter Olympics, is down 4% vs. last year in adults 18-49.
  • ABC is down vs. last season across the board between 4-8%.
  • Since the CW only programs Monday-Friday this season vs. Sunday-Friday last season, doing season to season comparisons is apples to oranges enough to not bother having to explain each week.

The xCBS and xNBC values in the Season To Season change chart show the season to date ratings changes minus a few non-annual events for CBS and NBC.

  • The xCBS number is the CBS season to season ratings change minus the entire Super Bowl 2010 week.
  • The xNBC number is the NBC season to season ratings change minus all 3 weeks that included any Winter Olympics this year, and the week that included the Super Bowl 2009 last year.

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. They're meant to help answer the question "How would CBS (or NBC) be doing without those non-annual events". I lack the data to do those adjusted comparisons for average viewership.

Little change in the season averages this week. ABC PR will be able to trumpet their sole third place in the meaningless average viewership metric, but they'll almost certainly remain publicly tied with NBC in the adult demo ratings categories.

Season To Date Ratings

  • Fox is certain to win both the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 ratings races this season, and seems likely to stay tied with CBS for adults 25-54.
  • CBS is certain to win the average viewership race, and a tie with Fox for adults 25-54 seems likely.
  • NBC and ABC are locked in third place in the main adult demo ratings categories, and seem likely to stay that way.

The xCBS and xNBC values in the Season To Date chart show the season to date ratings minus a few non-annual events for CBS and NBC.

  • The xCBS number is the CBS season to date ratings average minus the entire Super Bowl 2010 week.
  • The xNBC number is the NBC season to date ratings average minus the 3 weeks 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. They're meant to help answer the question "How would CBS (or NBC) be doing without those non-annual events".

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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