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!

 
  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

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

    Nah, that whole “the network sent/paid them” thing is an internet urban myth. There are plenty of crazy people leaving comments on any subject you care to name for free.

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

    We’ll certainly to show by show guessing posts (like the New Normal/Voice one today) but no more weekly guessing game like last Fall, it just wasn’t worth the effort.

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

    @Bill Gorman

    Don’t forget about CBS post super bowl slot. You promise poll for it.(smile)

  • iggy

    But everyone dismissed NBC’s 3rd place finish this season for the same reason that CBS will place 1st next season.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “But everyone dismissed NBC’s 3rd place finish this season for the same reason that CBS will place 1st next season.”

    If you read as much TV news as I had to, you’d not say “everyone” dismissed it.

    And, mark my words, the CBS PR apparatus is good enough so that the TV media won’t be mentioning it very much at all this season. That’s one reason, other than the fun of doing so, that I posted this early. Later, I will note how *little* it gets mentioned by the TV media.

  • Ryan

    I’m pretty sure CBS won the 1993-94 season in all measurements as well, as they aired the Winter Olympics which *averaged* a 20 HH rating over two-plus week and had two nights north of a Super Bowl-esque 40 HH rating (thank you Tonya Harding!). Also while the Primetime lineup was teetering and on the verge of the epic collapse that ultimately led to Les Moonves getting the job over there, it didn’t really hit in full force until the next season.

  • Nick

    @Iggy

    But everyone dismissed NBC’s 3rd place finish this season for the same reason that CBS will place 1st next season.

    Fox: 3.2
    cBS: 3.0
    ABC: 2.5
    NBC: 2.4
    CW: 0.7

    ????

  • Nick

    Predictions:

    CBS: 3.4 (+0.4)
    Fox: 2.8 (-0.2)
    ABC: 2.6 (+0.1)
    NBC: 2.5 (+0.1)
    CW: 0.6 (-0.1)

  • Holly

    @Nick,

    Fox: 3.2
    Fox: 2.8 (-0.2)

    One of us is really bad at math…

  • Douglas from Brazil

    I expect Fox way behind NBC and ABC while CBS is likely to be a winner in adults and total viewers,CBS is getting good strong shows.ABC is only made shows for female audience and of course women watch less TV than men.NBC,well, what we can tell about NBC?

  • Holly

    @Douglas from Brazil,

    I expect Fox way behind NBC and ABC

    Really? It was 0.7/0.8 ahead of them last year. I don’t see it losing more than half a point. Or both ABC and NBC gaining more than half a point.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Fox:Hate them;
    ABC:good shows;
    CBS:good shows but delays few;
    NBC:quality tv,crap audience;
    CW:Is that an inverse of W.C.?

    Winner:CBS always!

  • Oliver

    @Bill Gorman

    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.

    CBS was up last season, Fox was up in 2009-10 and CBS was up in 2008-09.

  • DuMont

    @Ryan
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM
    “I’m pretty sure CBS won the 1993-94 season in all measurements as well, as they aired the Winter Olympics which *averaged* a 20 HH rating over two-plus week and had two nights north of a Super Bowl-esque 40 HH rating (thank you Tonya Harding!). Also while the Primetime lineup was teetering and on the verge of the epic collapse that ultimately led to Les Moonves getting the job over there, it didn’t really hit in full force until the next season.”

    ###

    No, CBS didn’t win the A18-49 crown in 1993-94 either. The regular season A18-49 averages in 1993-94 were:

    1st ABC 7.5 A18-49
    2nd NBC 6.8 A18-49
    3rd CBS 6.7 A18-49
    4th FOX 5.0 A18-49

    I’m foraging through my records for the ’70s, but I believe the last time CBS won A18-49s was the 1974-75 season, when Mr. Fred Silverman helmed the network, and the Eye was riding a cluster of major A18-49 hits (‘M*A*S*H’, ‘All in the Family’, ‘The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour’, ‘Rhoda’, ‘Good Times’). Then, Mr. Silverman jumped over to ABC and was instrumental in transforming the Alphabet into a young peoples network and they took possession of the A18-49 crown away for a decade, before yielding it to NBC in the mid ’80s. ABC took it back in the early ’90s, NBC snatched it back in the mid ’90s to the mid ’00s when FOX took it over in 2004-05 and has held it ever since.

    If CBS wins the A18-49 crown this year, it will be their first regular season demo victory in 38 years.

    You might want to send an e-mail to Mr. David Poltrack at CBS. He has been their Nielsen guru since the ’60s, and I’m sure he could confirm for sure when CBS last won regular season A18-49s.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “CBS was up last season, Fox was up in 2009-10 and CBS was up in 2008-09.”

    CBS being up in 2011-12 *was* a surprise.

    My records have Fox even between 2008-9 and 2009-10, but errors are always an option!

    And while CBS was up in 2008-9, that was only because they were *way* down in 2007-8 because of the writers strike which caused them to have to air scripted repeats for much of the season. CBS, like all the other broadcasters was down sharply if you compare 2008-9 to 2006-7 (the year before the strike).

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

    ‘women watch less TV than’
    @Douglas from Brazil

    No way. Not in Brazil, not in Europe, not in USA. Females watch TV at least as males and in most countries even more. A lot more.

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

    ‘women watch less TV than men’ is what i try to quote. sorry.

  • Agnes

    I don’t know, maybe its because I find CBS shows dull, but I expect CBS to remain flat to slightly up this season but still coming in #1.

    The expected 0.4 increase will be offset by declining ratings for their other shows particularly on Sundays, Monday, and Fridays.

    I expect FOX decline rapidly this season as Idol falls further, and Monday, Tuesday, Friday bomb with Reilly repeating all the same mistakes he made at NBC.

    NBC should be flat to slightly up, off the back of a stronger Monday (The Sing Off versus the Voice).

    ABC is a wild card – could have a string of hits or flops

  • Wondering

    I have a question. Fox oly has two hours of prime time while the other networks have three hours. Are the total ratings for demographic groups reflecting only two hours of programs or three hours vs two.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I have a question. Fox oly has two hours of prime time while the other networks have three hours. Are the total ratings for demographic groups reflecting only two hours of programs or three hours vs two.”

    All the averages are for the number of primetime hours broadcast nationally: 22 for ABC, CBS, NBC, 15 for Fox, 10 for CW.

    Even though that’s the way the industry recognizes it, and has, forever, let me now cue some whiny fan who’ll complain about how “unfair” it is…

  • Sean

    What about Fox having college football on Saturday nights instead of Cops/AMW? That could have an impact. Likely down, I think.

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