*Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for NBC (NFL Wild Card game) and ABC (Republican Debate) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Of course, the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the Saints and Lions on NBC dominated Saturday night’s ratings and viewership, but we’ll have to wait for the final numbers on Tuesday to know by exactly how much (although I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC has Nielsen do a rush job on the time zone adjusted numbers and we see them earlier). Anyone quoting these preliminary NBC numbers just makes themselves look silly.

ABC’s Republican Debate was carried live in all time zones and so its ratings suffer from similar inaccuracies as the football game.

CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery at 10pm had a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating.

Our normal ratings source may be a Saints fan and still celebrating, so the ratings in today’s post are via TV Media Insights.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Saturday, January 7, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 NBC NFC Wild Card Saints/Lions (8-11p) 10.0 28 27.88
Fox Cops (1 new, 1 R) 1.0 3 3.15
ABC Wipeout -R 0.8 2 3.56
CBS Rules of Engagement x2 -R 0.5 1 1.98
9:00 ABC Republican Debate (9-11p) 1.1 3 5.41
CBS The Mentalist -R 0.7 3 3.66
FOX Terra Nova -R 0.4 1 1.36
10:00 CBS 48 Hours Mystery 1.0 3 4.83

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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