In the three decade decline trend for broadcast TV primetime ratings there are seasons that are a bit better than the trend (like last season), and some seasons that are worse than the trend.
After three weeks of the 2012-13 season, this season continues to be a lot worse for three of the big four broadcast networks.
During the first three weeks of the 2011-12 season, in the advertiser important adults 18-49 Most Current* ratings, ABC is down 12% vs. last season (2.3 vs. 2.6), CBS is down 24% (2.6 vs. 3.4), Fox is down 19% (2.5 vs. 3.1). Mostly by virtue of its move ofto the Fall, NBC is the only network to rise, it's up 15% vs. last season (3.0 vs. 2.6). Season to season comparisons for the CW are going to remain apples/oranges until the end of the season since, unlike recent seasons when they started their shows "early", this season they started "late".
The broadcast networks know this season's drop from last season isn't pretty, and their PR operations will be putting out a blizzard of Live+this and Live+that DVR ratings to distract attention from it, but you can look past that to the reality.
While the C+3 Day commercial ratings are all that *really* matter to the business of the broadcast networks, their trends are likely highly correlated with the trend of these Most Current* program ratings, and I'd be startled if they showed trends that were much different than the Live+Same Day program ratings.
However, if any network PR department would like to provide me with your season to season C+3 day commercial ratings trends and prove me wrong, I await your emails!
*Most Current ratings are a blend of Live+7 Day DVR viewing and Live+Same Day DVR viewing. Through week 3 they are 2 weeks of Live+Same Day and one week of Live+7 Day. As the season progresses, they will become increasingly weighted towards Live+7 Day ratings.