CBS Wins February Sweep in Adults 18-49 For the First Time since 1998

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

February 26th, 2013

via press release:


SINCE 1998


CBS Also Dominates in Viewers, Topping its Nearest Competitor By More Than 8 Million Viewers – The Largest Advantage By a Network in a February Sweep Since 2008


Super Bowl, Grammys, "The Big Bang Theory," "NCIS" and Depth of Scripted Hits Lead CBS to Decisive February Win


Network Currently Has the Month's Top 31 Scripted Broadcasts in Viewers


            CBS will win the February sweep in adults 18-49 for the first time since 1998 (when CBS had the Winter Olympics) while dominating its nearest competitor in viewers by more than 8 million, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings through the week ending Feb. 24, Week 22 of the 2012-2013 television season.


CBS's margin of victory in viewers (more than +8.00m over second-place ABC) marks the largest advantage in a February sweep by a network since 2008 (FOX).


Among viewers, CBS had the top 31 scripted broadcasts including every episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY, PERSON OF INTEREST, BLUE BLOODS, ELEMENTARY and two episodes each of NCIS and NCIS: LOS ANGELES.


With three days remaining, CBS has eight of the top 10 broadcasts for the month in both adults 18-49 and viewers, paced by the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards, THE BIG BANG THEORY and NCIS.


Top 10 Broadcasts in February Among Adults 18-49


1.      SUPER BOWL XLVII                                              39.7/77

2.      SUPER BOWL XLVII-DELAY                               38.9/73

3.      SUPER BOWL XLVII PST-GAME                         25.1 /55

4.      The Oscars                                                                  13.0/31

5.      GRAMMY AWARDS                                               10.1/25

6.      Oscars Red Carpet Live                                                7.3/20

7.      THE BIG BANG THEORY                                        6.2/18

8.      THE BIG BANG THEORY                                        5.6/17

9.      THE BIG BANG THEORY                                        5.5/18

10.  THE BIG BANG THEORY                                        5.4/16


Top 10 Broadcasts in February Among Viewers (in millions)


1.       SUPER BOWL XLVII                                             108.69

2.       SUPER BOWLXLVII-DELAY                               106.56

3.       SUPER BOWL XLVII-PST GAME                                      63.26

4.       The Oscars                                                                   40.38

5.       GRAMMY AWARDS                                                28.38

6.       Oscars Red Carpet                                                       25.53

7.       NCIS                                                                            21.79

8.       NCIS                                                                            21.08

9.       THE BIG BANG THEORY                                       18.98

10.   THE BIG BANG THEORY                                       17.89


In adults 18-49, CBS also had eight of the top 10 scripted broadcasts, including all four broadcasts of THE BIG BANG THEORY, three broadcasts of TWO AND A HALF MEN and an episode of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.




(1/31/13-2/24/13 vs. 2/2/12-2/26/12)

2013                2012                Chg

PERSONS 2+ (Millions)

CBS    15.46   #1        11.42   #1        +35%

NBC    3.96     #4        10.26   #2        -61%

ABC    7.32     #2        7.39     #3        -1%

FOX    6.10     #3        7.05     #4        -13%

ADULTS 18-49

CBS    4.3/12  #1        2.8/07  #2        +54%

NBC    1.2/03  #4        3.6/10  #1        -67%

ABC    2.2/06  #2        2.3/06  #4        -4%

FOX    2.0/06  #3        2.4/07  #3        -17%

ADULTS 25-54

CBS    5.2/13  #1        3.7/09  #2        +41%

NBC    1.5/04  #4        4.0/10  #1        -63%

ABC    2.7/06  #2        2.8/07  #4        -4%

FOX    2.4/06  #3        2.9/07  #3        -17%


ADULTS 18-34

CBS    3.4/11  #1        1.7/05  #3T      +100%

NBC    0.8/03  #4        3.0/09  #1        -73%

ABC    1.7/05  #3        1.7/05  #3T      n.c.

FOX    1.8/06  #2        2.0/06  #2        -10%

  • Rokk

    NCIS couldn’t screw that up!

  • romo

    How come in the top 10 lists they dont list the afc championship game with 47.7 million since it started the same time 6:30 as the super bowl.

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    They should not count Football or Live Award Shows. Because they tend to get similar viewership and demo regardless of network. That’s why NBC is so down. They counted the Superbowl. It’s also why CBS is so far up.

  • Christian


    Because the AFC Championship game did not air during February sweeps

  • romo

    ah got my dates wrong.

  • romo

    They count “the delay”….lol.

  • Bob

    CBS winning does not suprise me. It is clearly the best network and has the highest rated shows. ABC and NBC are dying so the lone broadcast network will be CBS. CBS is the ONLY network to have over 10 million viewers and respectable 18-49 rating. Go CBS!!! Don’t listen to the naysayers because they are jealous that their networks are dying.

  • Reache

    PERSONS 2+ (Millions)
    NBC 3.96 #4

    ADULTS 18-49
    NBC 1.2/03 #4

    Ugh, What a dreadful…

  • Bill Gorman

    “PERSONS 2+ (Millions)
    NBC 3.96 #4

    ADULTS 18-49
    NBC 1.2/03 #4

    Ugh, What a dreadful…”

    It’s worse than that. English TV PR does not bother to note Univision numbers. NBC was #5.

  • Joseph

    Bill Gorman:

    Isn’t Univision on track to finish second in the sweeps among adults between 18 and 34??

  • Joseph

    The last time CBS won a February sweep, in 1998, they had the Winter Olympics, held in Nagano, Japan (and the last time a network other than NBC or its cable siblings carried an Olympics in the United States).

    Prime-time for those Olympics included a few live (in the East) events such as the Opening Ceremonies and several skiing races. I’m not 100% certain, but on the West Coast, several games of the first “dream team” men’s hockey tournament may have aired live in prime-time as well.

    This may be the first time since at least 1997 that CBS had won a February sweeps with pretty much “regular programing” (other than the Super Bowl, or Grammy’s).

  • Reache

    Yep, I saw that Deadline article. Such a mess.
    Next year Winter Olympic may heads up their asses…

  • MichaelChickless

    Eye thought they’d win.

  • rob60990

    So even the years CBS had the Super Bowl, they couldn’t win February Sweeps? Then again, Idol was probably strong enough then for FOX to still pull out the win.

    NBC is just a big trainwreck.

  • Lisbeth Slander

    I just don’t get it. CBS has the most dreadful, watered down, not funny, same boring formula (giving a whole new meaning to “tv by the numbers”) for both their comedies and dramas. How people can watch their “comedies” over Happy Endings or New Girl or their “dramas” over Parenthood or Scandal is beyond my comprehension.
    The only show I can stomach on CBS is the watered down version of the far superior Big Brother UK.
    I understand to each their own and don’t mean to belittle CBS fans but there are so many shows out there that these people are missing out on.

  • jen

    Do sweeps even really matter anymore?

    I’m serious. While I’m dating myself here, I remember when sweeps meant big event programming like The Thornbirds or Winds of War. Later it was all about special episodes(much hyped weddings, special guest stars, crossovers). Now the only real sign that it’s sweeps are the super sensationalized local news stories. Come May, most shows will have their finale a week or two before sweeps ends.

    So is it now the reality that sweeps are only important to local markets?

  • MichaelChickless

    @Lisbeth Slander

    Have you ever watched an episode of Person Of Interest?




    GO CBS!!

  • fringewillget5seasons

    That NBC 18-34. So shameful. They need to pick up the pace or get left in the dust whenever the Voice isn’t airing.

    Also LOL Smash.

    The other nets deserve to lose sweeps. Idol is finally crapping over and ABC airs nothing but dreck.

  • coolmtnbreeze

    KEEP ON GOING, CBS!! My #1 all time favorite tv program is ‘Person of Interest’…it had me at the first episode and I haven’t missed one since. Looking forward to Season 3…thank you, CBS!!

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