NBC Delivers Its Most Competitive TV Season and May Sweep in Nine Years

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 21st, 2013


via press release:


NBC Runs Within 0.1 of #2 Fox in 18-49 With Three Days Left to Count in the Traditional TV Season While One Year Ago NBC Trailed #2 CBS by 0.5

Excluding an Olympic Year, NBC Is the First Network in Seven Years to Follow Up a Super Bowl Season With a Drop of Just a Tenth of a Point in 18-49 the Next Season

‘Sunday Night Football’ is #1 for the Season in 18-49 and Total Viewers; ‘The Voice’ Is the Season’s #1 Reality Series in 18-49, the First Time in 10 Years ‘American Idol’ Has Not Held That Position

NBC Delivers Its Most Competitive May Sweep Performance in Nine Years

Through 25 Nights of the May Sweep, NBC is the Only Big 4 Network to Match its Year-Ago Rating in 18-49 While the Others Are Down by Double-Digit Percentages

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 21, 2013 – NBC is closing out the traditional 2012-13 primetime TV season running within a tenth of a rating point of second place in adults 18-49, NBC’s most competitive position at the end of a season in nine years.

With results for the primetime week of May 13-19 bringing the networks within three days of the season’s conclusion, NBC is running a tenth of a point behind #2 Fox, a dramatic improvement versus one year ago, when, even with the boost of the Super Bowl, NBC trailed then-#1 Fox by 0.7 of a point and #2 CBS by 0.5 of a point.

Excluding Olympic years, this is the first time since the 2005-06 season that a network has followed up a Super Bowl season with an 18-49 decline of just 0.1 of a rating point.  NBC also finished down just a tenth during the 2009-10 season, the year after carrying the Super Bowl, but had Olympic help that season.  Every other network that’s carried a Super Bowl over the last seven years has declined the following season by at least 0.3 of a rating point the following season.  In 2005-06, Fox broke even the year after carrying the Super Bowl and is the last network to do so.

NBC is #3 for the 2012-13 season and ahead of ABC outright for the first time in the nine years since NBC won the 2003-04 season.  NBC tied ABC for #3 last season with help from the Super Bowl (rounding to a tie in “live plus seven day” ratings after edging ABC in initial “most current” results) and NBC also tied ABC for #3 during 2009-10 season with Olympic help.  Note that this year, NBC is cleanly rating ahead of ABC with no Super Bowl or Olympic boost.

In the nine years since NBC won the 2003-04 season, the closest NBC had come to #2 before this season was five years ago, when the network finished 0.2 of a point behind the second-place tie of ABC and CBS during the strike season of 2007-08 (with a 2.8 vs. a 3.0 for ABC and CBS).  Excluding the strike season, NBC hasn’t finished closer than 0.4 of a point to second place over the last nine seasons.

Season to Date Adults 18-49 vs. Last Year, “Most Current”

Net…Season to Date 2011-12… Season to Date 2012-13…Diff

NBC…2.5…2.4…Down 4%

CBS…3.0…2.9…Down 3%

ABC…2.4…2.2…Down 8%

Fox…3.2…2.5…Down 22%

  • fourat sakka

    good for nbc

  • Brandon

    This really should be a press release about The Voice, not NBC as a network. Take that away and it’d still be pretty bleak.

  • gerry

    thanks ‘the voice!’

  • Kurt

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this press release. The network is like a punch-drunk boxer who’s just happy to still be in the ring at the final bell.

  • Tim

    Yes, if only there was a preliminary press release, such as preliminary ratings, and the adjusted final press release excluded The Voice. Then CBS, FOX, and ABC would be cleanly ahead.

  • MichaelChickless

    “We’re not nearly as awful as we used to be.”

  • CCBaxter

    One of the broadcasters will be a cable network by this time next year, it will most likely be NBC.

  • jr YOU WING

    What kind of liberal BS spin is this garbage? Nobody watches nor cares about NBC as well as their cable trash MSNBC, so this is nonsense. The NBC network is DONE, except for Sunday Football and the now fading The Voice, which like Idol, produces trash as a winner.

  • k:Alex

    Fox must hate the fact that all there reality is down.
    Maybe more good series, their is no one complaining about that..

  • Joe

    I can’t believe the logic of some people who make comments that NBC’s #s are somewhat irrelevant because of its reliance on Voice and football. Last I checked, reality shows and sports do count in the ratings. In fact, for billing purposes they’re more desirable because of the large # of LIVE viewers they pull in (aka — people not fast-forwarding thru commercials).

    And to say “Voice” is fading? What evidence supports that? Idol lost half its audience in this year’s finale from just two years ago. Meanwhile, Voice scored a 10.01 on 5-17-11, compared with a 11.29 on 5-13-11.

    C’mon people.

  • Anthony

    One of the broadcasters will be a cable network by this time next year, it will most likely be NBC.

    None of them will be a cable network by this time next year, but even IF one was, it certainly wouldn’t be NBC. Congress would be all over that due to the concessions that had to be made for Comcast to purchase NBC. Comcast had to make a lot of assurances that it would not act as a monopoly (and ceasing being a broadcast network to become a cable network would certainly raise red flags in that area).

  • CCBaxter

    Don’t think so Anthony. I think all the evidence points to the end of bcast TV. First off, the new head of the FCC, Tom Wheeler used to be a lobby for the cable industry. Second, the reverse auction next spring will see lots of affiliates using it as a golden parachute out of a crippled industry. Third, Barry Diller has won again and again in the courts with Aereo, and Dish and Direct are a few months away from installing local antenna with their system, all of which bypasses retrans fees. The broadcasters will try to have their legislative pals gin up some kind of law to help stop it, but even those old fossils know the future of the spectrum is wireless, and will refuse to help. ABC is owned by Disney. CBS is owned by Viacom, but I bet will be owned by TW before the end of the year, and NBC is, as you pointed out, owned by Comcast. Read what Liberty Media is doing. There is also a new aggregation coming for cable companies and there will be 4 or 5 MSOs, like how all RBOCs disappeared. The wrap party is starting soon.

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