ABC Remains Tied With NBC For The Season’s Ratings Third Place; Breaking The Tie Will Go Down To The Wire
2010-11 SEASON vs. 2009-2010 SEASON (Through April 17, 2011, Week 30 of 35)
For the 2010-11 broadcast primetime season to date vs. last season at the same week:
- ABC is DOWN 9.1% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average.
- CBS is DOWN 8.0% vs. last season’s 18-49 average. If I somewhat crudely remove the ratings effect of Super Bowl week 2010, CBS would be UP 1.4% vs. last season.
- CW is DOWN 3.5% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average.
- Fox is DOWN 4.4% 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 17.1% vs. last season.
- NBC is DOWN 15.1% vs. of its adults 18-49 average compared to last season at this point. If I somewhat crudely remove the two full weeks of Winter Olympics ratings from last season (which still leaves the initial days of Olympics coverage), NBC would be DOWN 0.8% vs. last season.
- Univision is UP 9.7% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average.
By my calculation (using Nielsen data) the overall average adults 18-49 ratings season to date for the 5 English broadcast networks are down 9.0% vs. the season to date ratings average through the same week of the 2009-10 season. After crudely removing two weeks of the Winter Olympics from last year, the 5 English broadcast networks would still be down 5.8%.
That overall ratings decline is pretty close to the ~5% ratings decline typical for broadcast primetime over the long term. And no, those viewers aren’t surfing the net or reading books, they’re watching ad supported cable networks.
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 use the average adults 18-49 viewership, NOT the adults 18-49 ratings rounded to a single digit past the decimal point.
2010-11 SEASON TO DATE RATINGS (Through week 30 of 35, April 17, 2011)
Fox will, once again, 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 certainly have passed CBS, the Super Bowl just sped up the timetable.
NBC and ABC are in a season to date adults 18-49 third place tie (rounded to a single decimal point, the way the industry likes to for ratings). I’ve been assuming that ABC will pull ahead by the end of the season, but with only 5 weeks to go, I’m not certain of that any more. I’m not certain that NBC will fall to a 2.3 average and its far less likely that ABC will increase to a 2.5 average, and doing the number crunching to make a better prediction just isn’t worth the effort. We’ll just have to wait and see.
2010-11 Season to Date Adults 18-49 Ratings
- Fox will finish in first place and currently has a 3.5 18-49 rating average. (Without the Super Bowl they’d have about a 3.0 average)
- CBS will finish in second place and currently has a 3.0 adults 18-49 average.
- NBC is tied for third place with a 2.4 rating average. (2.37 to two places)
- ABC is tied for third place with a 2.4 rating average. (2.43 to two places)
- Univision is in fifth place with a 1.5 rating average.
- The CW is in sixth place with a 0.9 rating average.
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
2010-11 Season To Date Average Viewership
- CBS remains well ahead (11.82 million avg. viewers) in the press release friendly, but revenue meaningless, season to date average viewership, and will finish first for the season
- Fox is in second place and is currently averaging 9.73 million viewers.
- ABC is in third place, averaging 8.31 million viewers.
- NBC is in fourth place, averaging 7.19 million viewers.
- Univision is in fifth place, averaging 3.74 million viewers.
- The CW is in sixth place, averaging 2.00 million viewers.
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.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.