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!

 
  • Cristi

    “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?

    In the 90s it was a different measuring method?

  • Holly

    @Cristi,

    Ha, no, but there wasn’t nearly as much cable content 20 years ago, which is where most of the viewers went.

  • ender650

    I agree that CBS will probably be #1. My guess is #2-4 will be close with ABC #2, FOX #3, and NBC #4. CW will almost certainly be last.

  • Holly

    @ender650,

    So do you expect FOX to lose 0.7 or ABC to gain it?

  • Kieran4

    Until Fox programs from 10-11 they are a weblet ala CW, not a web.

  • Ultima

    @Cristi
    In the 90s it was a different measuring method?

    @Holly
    Ha, no

    Technically, yes; prior to some point last decade, ratings were Live only, instead of Live+SD, etc. ;)

  • Ultima

    @Kieran
    Until Fox programs from 10-11 they are a weblet ala CW, not a web.

    What the hell is a “web”?

    Also, FOX will probably never program the 10pm hour nationally, but they will continue to be considered part of the ‘big four’ with ABC, CBS and NBC.

    Don’t worry, people have opinions that fall outside of the general consensus on non-disputed topics all the time, so you won’t be alone – you will be mocked, however.

  • SJ

    Yeah, not much more to add here, except that it will be interesting to see how far Fox will fall with almost no football in primetime. I don’t think it will fall behind ABC this year – and certainly not next year, when they have the Superbowl – but I think in five years’ time, ABC could be looking at second place again.

  • disney rocks

    Averages-

    CBS- 3.4; Fox- 2.9; ABC- 2.5/2.4; NBC- 2.4; Univision- 1.5; CW- 0.8/0.7

  • disney rocks

    NBC- 2.3 not 2.4

  • disney rocks

    Some of my premiere guesses-

    NBC-
    -The Voice- 3.7-4.4
    -Revolution- 3.0-3.7
    -The Office- 2.3
    -Up all Night- 1.7
    -Community-1.5
    -Whitney- 1.9/1.8/1.7
    -Parks and Recreation- 1.9/2.0/1.8
    -30 Rock- 1.7

    ABC-
    -Modern Family- 4.4-5.2
    -The Middle- 2.7-3.1
    -Suburgatory- 3.7-4.6
    -The Neighbors- 2.3-2.9
    -Nashville- 2.4-3.9

  • Ultima

    @SJ
    Yeah, not much more to add here, except that it will be interesting to see how far Fox will fall with almost no football in primetime

    Huh? FOX will have 80-160 minutes of extra primetime NFL football during the regular season, due to the rules and time changes, and the same amount during the postseason (although with the lower rated Saturday division game than Sunday championship game).

    Plus they have primetime college football now, too.

  • Ultima

    *than = “rather than the”

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Technically, yes; prior to some point last decade, ratings were Live only, instead of Live+SD, etc.”

    *Last decade* indeed. Jan 1, 2006 was when DVR viewing began to be measured by Nielsen.

    When I first saw that I thought “No way!”, but we’ve been doing this site longer than it I realize some times ;)

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

    Wich are the best months for ratings in US? I mean most people watching TV. Let’s say 3 best months. Thaks.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Wich are the best months for ratings in US? I mean most people watching TV. Let’s say 3 best months. Thaks.”

    October for broadcast. Full schedules of all new shows, soon after premiere hype and bump.

    Overall ratings decline from October-May. Although individual months do bob up and down a bit against that trend.

    June-August are the lowest months.

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

    One last question from me: how many years dramas are in decline? If you have some statistic off course.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “One last question from me: how many years dramas are in decline? If you have some statistic off course.”

    Wrong to say that “dramas are in decline”. Without being able to produce any backup numbers easily, it’s still easy to say that there are more dramas on US TV today than ever before.

    US broadcast ratings have been declining for about 30 years as the broadcast audience shifts to cable.

  • NYCLuver

    @Person of Interest – TV’S #1 NEW DRAMA
    stop advertising. we know cbs sent you.

    is there going to be the ratings prediction game again this year>

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

    @Bill Gorman
    But TV is on cycles, right? I mean 5 years hot thing is reality, than 5 year commedy, than dramas and than again reality etc. you get it, am i wrong? Ay least from what i see dramas had much harder time last 3-4 years in big 4 than comedy&reality shows.

    @NYCLuver

    Yea, sent me where to Bulgaria(this is in eastern Europe)? Come on, man….are you seriously think somebody sent me here. Yes i am big time fan of that show, but this is it.

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