Easy Guess Redux: CBS To Win Adults 18-49 Ratings Crown In 2012-13 For The First Time In 20 Years

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

September 9th, 2012

Regular readers: You are not losing your mind, this is effectively a repost of an article from May 16, 2012.

Amidst all the chatter from the TV media about the new shows for the 2012-13 season, I'll repeat a trivially easy guess that has nothing whatsoever to do with those new shows, and effectively nothing to do with entertainment programming at all.

CBS will win the adults 18-49 ratings crown for the 2012-13 season for the first time in 20 years (the last time was 1991-92).

Why is my guess such an easy one?

NFL post season games (with a possible assist from the baseball post season).

  • CBS finished two tenths of an adults 18-49 ratings point behind Fox during the 2011-12 season (3.0 to 3.2).
  • CBS will have the Super Bowl in 2013 (+0.3 season ratings points for CBS).
  • CBS will have the AFC Championship game in primetime in 2013 (+0.1 season rating point for CBS)
  • FOX will not have the NFC Championship game in primetime in 2013, like they did in 2012 (-0.1 season rating point for FOX)
  • FOX will have the MLB NL Championship Series this Fall, which is typically lower rated than the AL Championship Series they had last Fall (unknown, but likely negative for Fox).
  • FOX is unlikely to get another seven game World Series like they did last season (unknown, but likely negative for Fox).
Bottom line:
  • CBS adds 0.4 ratings points due to NFL post season games.
  • FOX loses 0.1 points due to NFL post season games, plus likely a bit more due to baseball playoff/World Series.

With that 0.5 point swing (plus the likely downward pressure on Fox due to baseball), CBS should easily beat FOX among adults 18-49 and finish on top this season regardless of what happens with either network's entertainment programs.

Remember, you heard it here first! (and second?)

Of course, Fox gets the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship game in primetime in 2014, as well as the AL Championship series in 2013, so CBS's reign atop the adults 18-49 ratings may be a short one!

 
  • Person of Interest – TV’S #1 NEW DRAMA

    Any guesses how this ABC move will affect once, revenge ans scandal ratings?

    TV by the numbers how this play out in the past?

  • Holly

    Syndication is not the same thing as streaming on Netflix. Adding previous seasons of shows to Netflix (or hulu) has not boosted ratings in the past.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “My records indicate that CBS did not win A18-49s in the 1991-92 season. My numbers for the regular season were:

    1st ABC 7.8 A18-49
    2nd CBS 7.2 A18-49
    3rd NBC 7.1 A18-49
    4th FOX 5.7 A18-49″

    DuMont, not sure if I have that info handy or whether I’ve been simply parroting the conventional wisdom that was the case. Will see what I can track down.

  • Ike

    @Holly, the ratings for Breaking Bad have increased significantly over the years, despite it being heavily serialized. Many serialized shows decline as they age, rather than gaining. I think we can assume that putting the earlier seasons on Netflix had a noticeable effect, as newer viewers catch up that way.

    Whether or not this can work for a bigger network like ABC and its serialized shows is another matter. Obviously, ABC needs bigger numbers than AMC for its shows to be viable. The effect will probably be minimal at best, not an eventual near-doubling of ratings like with Breaking Bad, but I think it’s smart of them to try it.

    But I was also hoping that the first season of Revenge would be available on-demand. It is not. So I guess I’m not watching this show (I don’t have Netflix and I don’t want it, and I don’t want to join the show in the middle).

    Interestingly, the entire first season of NBC’s Grimm *is* available on-demand, at least on Verizon FiOS. Supposedly there are not many people who use on-demand, but even so, I think that’s smart.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “CBS are the best network. Their new “super thursday” will destroy all networks.”

    Except NFL Network on the 13 Thursdays they have a football game, even though NFLN is in just over 52% of US TV HHs. I expect those football games to come out on top of the 8-11pm adults 18-49 ratings at least a few times, and maybe lots more than a few.

  • Holly

    @Ike,

    Let me specify. It has not made a difference for broadcast shows. Though, I’m not sure you can attribute BB’s increase to Netflix as much as people discovering the show through word of mouth (if it wasn’t streaming, they could just get the DVDs). This does happen occasionally on cable since people aren’t generally as aware of cable shows as they are of broadcast.

  • Oliver

    @Bill Gorman
    NBC having a good year (gaining 0.1) and ABC having an average year (losing 0.1) would put ABC and NBC within 0.1 of each other even after you exclude the Super Bowl. Hardly a ridiculous prediction.

  • Holly

    @Oliver,

    But without the SuperBowl boost, that means NBC will have to gain 0.4 from it’s regular schedule.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “NBC having a good year (gaining 0.1) and ABC having an average year (losing 0.1) would put ABC and NBC within 0.1 of each other even after you exclude the Super Bowl. Hardly a ridiculous prediction.”

    1. I didn’t say anything was ridiculous.
    2. NBC’s non-Super Bowl ratings increasing 0.1 would be a big surprise. Not because of anything specific to NBC, but *any* broadcast networks ratings increasing (except FOX during their early growth years) at any time in the last generation is a big surprise.

  • J.G.

    I would not be surprised if ABC ended up having a really good year this year, perhaps even nipping at FOX’s buds for 2nd place. FOX is in flux this year; X Factor and Idol are uncertain variables at this point, Bones and Glee are aging and slumping, baseball is having a cold-ish year.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    I’d agree that the gap between Fox and ABC isn’t something I can try and predict ahead of time.

  • Holly

    What were the final ratings for the networks last year?

  • Person of Interest – TV’S #1 NEW DRAMA

    For non-US users – any idea why syndication boost ratings for shows on broadcast networks? Big 4 ‘cover’ 95% from the contry(US), right? And even USA(biggest cable channel i think) and TNT are not even close to that. So where is the logic people to watch shows on cable(with year/s late), not free on big 4 networks?

  • THE OLD MAN

    GO CBS!!!

  • Ultima

    @Holly
    What were the final ratings for the networks last year?

    FOX – 3.2
    CBS – 3.0
    NBC – 2.5
    ABC – 2.5

  • Holly

    Thanks Ultima

  • Burr

    Unfortunately, nothing new on CBS (or any other network for that matter) remotely appeals to me, nor do the any new shows from last year either. Good thing they don’t need me for the ratings, since it seems CBS will stomp everything in sight…

  • Ultima

    For non-US users – any idea why syndication boost ratings for shows on broadcast networks? Big 4 ‘cover’ 95% from the contry(US), right? And even USA(biggest cable channel i think) and TNT are not even close to that. So where is the logic people to watch shows on cable(with year/s late), not free on big 4 networks?

    Exposure is one of the major factors. It’s easy to miss The Big Bang Theory when it’s only on CBS for 30 minutes a week. It’s a lot harder to miss when it’s on for ~20 hours a week across multiple networks.

    Also, you can really get into a series by being able to watch a lot of episodes over a short period of time.

  • MARSEPH

    My prediction

    3.3 CBS
    2.8 FOX
    2.3 ABC
    2.2 NBC
    0.8 CW

  • Person of Interest – TV’S #1 NEW DRAMA

    @Ultima

    Thanks. Now i get it.

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