Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

We won’t know until the final ratings are in on Tuesday (and by then no one will care) but it looks like Fox’s  Cops and America’s Most Wanted gave CBS’s broadcasts of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament a run for its money. You can pretty much disregard the NCAA ratings for comparative purposes until the final ratings are in, any site that does otherwise doesn’t know what its talking about.

Everyone wondering why those NCAA Basketball ratings seem low, remember that for the first time ever CBS is splitting the games with TNT, TBS and truTV, so unlike past years everyone isn’t watching CBS. Don’t weep for CBS though, they’re financially better off sharing the rights fees with Turner, and the NCAA basketball tournament is, so far, well up vs. last year in combined ratings.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Saturday, March 19, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX COPS 1.3 5 4.344
ABC WIPEOUT – R 0.7 3 2.976
NBC HARRY’S LAW – R 0.5 2 3.771
8:30 CBS NCAA BASKETBALL 1.5 6 4.824
FOX COPS – R 1.5 5 4.723
ABC WIPEOUT – R 1.0 4 3.588
NBC HARRY’S LAW – R 0.6 2 4.148
9:00 FOX AMERICA’S MOST WANTED 1.5 5 4.736
ABC NORBIT – R 0.9 3 3.033
NBC LAW & ORDER: LA -R 0.5 2 4.028
9:30 FOX AMERICA’S MOST WANTED 1.6 5 4.943
ABC NORBIT – R 1.0 3 2.785
NBC LAW & ORDER: LA -R 0.7 2 4.472
10:00 CBS 48 HOURS MYSTERY 1.1 4 3.965
ABC NORBIT – R 1.1 4 3.264
NBC LAW & ORDER: SVU -R 0.9 3 4.970
10:30 NBC LAW & ORDER: SVU -R 1.2 4 5.864
ABC NORBIT – R 1.2 4 3.520
CBS 48 HOURS MYSTERY 1.1 4 4.374

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.  More information on ratings is available here.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Fast National Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live baseball game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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