ABC Likely To Catch NBC For Ratings Third Place Before The End Of The Season

Categories: ABC TV ratings,CBS TV ratings,CW TV ratings,Fox TV ratings,NBC TV ratings

Written By

February 24th, 2011

ABC, in fourth place in the adults 18-49 ratings race, continues to close the gap on NBC. Even a few weeks ago, I wasn't ready to call it a certainty that they'd catch NBC for third place, but in recent weeks NBC's ratings have dropped, and since NBC doesn't have any big spring shows left on the bench (as ABC does with Dancing with the Stars) there's now effectively no chance NBC will hold onto third place for another 13 weeks to end the season.

Fox will finish first among broadcast networks in the advertiser important adults 18-49 ratings for the 2010-11 season, and CBS will finish second. CBS fans can whine all they want about the unfair advantage of the Super Bowl, but even without it Fox would almost certainly have passed CBS, the Super Bowl just sped up the timetable.

2010-11 Season to Date Ratings

  • Fox will finish in first place and currently has a 3.4 18-49 rating average. (Without the Super Bowl they'd have about a 2.9 average)
  • CBS will finish in second place and currently has a 3.0 adults 18-49 average.
  • NBC is in third with a 2.6 rating average.
  • ABC is in fourth place with a 2.4 rating average.

CBS remains well ahead in the press release friendly, but revenue meaningless, season to date average viewership.

2010-11 Season vs. 2009-2010 Season

For the 2010-11 broadcast primetime season to date vs. last season at the same week:

  • ABC is DOWN 10.3% vs. last season's adults 18-49 average.
  • CBS is DOWN 9.4% vs. last season's 18-49 average. If I somewhat crudely remove the ratings effect of Super Bowl week 2010, CBS would be DOWN 0.5% vs. last season.
  • CW is UP 1.5% vs. last season's adults 18-49 average.
  • Fox is DOWN 6.4% vs. last season's adults 18-49 average. If I somewhat crudely remove the ratings effect of Super Bowl week 2011, Fox would be DOWN 19.2% vs. last season.
  • NBC is DOWN 10.8% vs. of its adults 18-49 average compared to last season at this point. The comparisons have begun vs. the portion of last season that included the Winter Olympics, and they'll get even worse for another week. After week 23, I will also produce a crude comparison vs. last season without the Winter Olympics.
  • Univision is UP 6.7% vs. last season's adults 18-49 average.

Notes: The CW replaced one hour of their schedule last season (10%) that was a scheduled repeat with an original series this season. NBC is spending a lot more this season in primetime after replacing 5 hours of The Jay Leno Show with mostly scripted dramas.

Note that the % increases and declines calculated for the chart above use the average total viewership and the average adults 18-49 viewership, NOT the adults 18-49 ratings rounded to a single digit past the decimal point.

Broadcast network primetime season vs. season ratings overall: My calculation (using Nielsen data) of the average adults 18-49 ratings season to date for the 5 English broadcast networks is down 8.9% vs. the season to date ratings average through the same week of the 2009-10 season.

Each rating point is a percentage of the US TV population in that demographic group. A 1.0 adults 18-49 rating equals 1.315 million adults 18-49

The network's average viewership is charted in millions of viewers, just like we report all other average viewership information on the site, and adults 18-49 is charted as ratings points. Note the units (million viewers on the left, rating on the right) below the bars.

Note that these season average ratings are "Most Current" measurements which are Live+7 day DVR viewing when available (2+ weeks after airdate), combined with LIve+Same Day DVR viewing for the most recent 2 weeks.

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

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
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