Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (Duke vs. North Carolina college basketball) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers.  See the definition of the “Fast National Ratings” at the bottom of the post for more information.

Fox won the night fairly easily with adults 18-49, paced by the grizzled crime fighting duo of  Cops and America’s Most Wanted.  CBS had college hoops and  North Carolina bested #4 Duke to take home the regular season ACC title.  In the preliminary numbers, CBS finished second for the night with adults 18-49.  Note: my program listings had 48 Hours Mystery as a repeat, but it wasn’t listed as a repeat in the ratings report I saw.

NBC’s scripted repeats topped the broadcast night in total viewers.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Saturday, March 5, 2010:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX Cops 1.7/6 5.17
CBS College Basketball: Duke at North Carolina 1.2/4 4.22
NBC Harry’s Law (R) 0.8/3 5.09
ABC Movie: King Kong (R) 0.7/2 2.86
8:30 FOX Cops (R) 1.8/6 5.55
9:00 FOX America’s Most Wanted 1.9/6 5.64
CBS College Basketball: Duke at North Carolina 1.5/5 4.91
NBC Law & Order: Los Angeles (R) 1.0/3 5.70
ABC Movie: King Kong (R) 0.8/3 3.37
10:00 NBC Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (R) 1.3/4 6.22
CBS 48 Hours Mystery (R?) 1.0/3 4.50
ABC Movie: King Kong (R) 1.0/3 3.71


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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