After eighteen weeks of the 2010-11 broadcast primetime season vs. last season at the same week:

  • CBS is UP 0.4% vs. last season’s 18-49 average thanks to a big boost from last week’s AFC Championship in primetime, but they had the Super Bowl last year, so two weeks from now their year/year comparison will plummet.
  • The CW is UP 1.2% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average. What the chart doesn’t show is that the CW is down 13% in the women 18-34 demo they publicly claim to target.
  • NBC is UP 1.8% vs. of its adults 18-49 average compared to last season at this point. That’s a bit worse than the comparison last week. Now that football is over expect NBC to fall below last year’s ratings levels in the coming weeks.
  • Fox is DOWN 21.5% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average, 5% worse than they were last week, because last year they had the NFC Championship in primetime, but not this year. They’ll rebound with the Super Bowl in two weeks.
  • ABC is DOWN 9.7% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average, which is fractionally worse than the comparison last week.
  • Univision is UP 9.4% vs. last season’s adults 18-49 average.

Notes: The CW replaced one hour of their schedule last season (10%) that was a scheduled repeat with an original series this season. NBC is spending a lot more this season in primetime after replacing 5 hours of The Jay Leno Show with mostly scripted dramas.

Note that the % increases and declines calculated for the chart above use the average total viewership and the average adults 18-49 viewership, NOT the adults 18-49 ratings rounded to a single digit past the decimal point.

Broadcast network primetime season vs. season ratings overall: My calculation (using Nielsen data) of the average adults 18-49 ratings season to date for the 5 English broadcast networks is down 6.4% vs. the season to date ratings average through the same week of the 2009-10 season.

Season to Date Ratings

  • CBS leads in primetime for the season with a 3.1 adults 18-49 average.
  • Fox is in second place with a 2.8 rating average.
  • NBC is in third with a 2.7 rating average.
  • ABC remained in 4th place with a 2.5 rating average.

Expect CBS to hold that lead for another 2 weeks, because the Super Bowl should boost Fox’s season average by at least 0.3 ratings points in a single week.

By my calculation, ABC needs to beat NBC by 0.25 adults 18-49 ratings points on average every week for the rest of the season to move out of fourth place. Last week, ABC tied NBC. It is not a foregone conclusion that ABC passes NBC for third place by the end of the season.

CBS remains well ahead in the press release friendly, but advertiser ignored, season to date average viewership.

Each rating point is a percentage of the US TV population in that demographic group. A 1.0 adults 18-49 rating equals 1.315 million adults 18-49

The network’s average viewership is charted in millions of viewers, just like we report all other average viewership information on the site, and adults 18-49 is charted as ratings points. Note the units (million viewers on the left, rating on the right) below the bars.

Note that these season average ratings are “Most Current” measurements which are Live+7 day DVR viewing when available (2+ weeks after airdate), combined with LIve+Same Day DVR viewing for the most recent 2 weeks.

You can see past week’s broadcast network primetime season to date TV ratings results here.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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