Because of the live Presidential press conference, the fast affiliate results for ABC, NBC and CBS are all approximate and subject to more than typical revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information.


As ABC, NBC and CBS covered the Presidential Press Conference, Fox’s regular So You Think You Can Dance cruised to an easy win in the adults 18-49 demo, far ahead of the competition.

Comparing the fast affiliate numbers for a live event is a bit tricky, but last night’s press conference drew 16.487 million on ABC, CBS and NBC compared to 18.81 million for the same 3 networks on April 29. Univision didn’t carry last night’s press conference, while they did carry the one on April 29.

In a continued push for congressional support of health care reform President Obama held his fourth prime time press conference on Wednesday July 22, 2009. The conference was carried live from 8:00PM to approximately 9:00PM on 11 networks. The sum of average audience for those networks was 24,682,519 viewers and had a combined household rating of 16.3. The networks carrying the press conference were ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision*, Telemundo*, BBC-A, BET, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC.

via Nielsen Wire.

Update 2: Fox News had the top average viewership, but CNN had the top adults 25-54 average for the Presidential press conference.

Fox and So You Think You Can Dance was up 0.2 rating points in the adults 18-49 demo (2.8 vs. 2.6) from last week, likely getting a benefit from viewers shifting away from the press conference.

With the live press conference and because of how these fast affiliate ratings are gathered, I hesitate to comment on the ratings of any of the ABC, NBC and CBS shows that followed the press conference because their results are likely to be adjusted to the point where my comments would be silly (not that they aren’t liable to be that anyway!).

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

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Full details:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX So You Think You Can Dance? 2.8 10 2.8 11 7.293
ABC Presidential Press Conference 1.5 5 1.1 4 5.834
NBC Presidential Press Conference 1.4 5 1.0 4 6.375
CBS Presidential Press Conference 0.9 3 0.4 2 4.278
CW America’s Next Top Model (repeat) 0.5 2 0.5 2 1.226
9:00 FOX So You Think You Can Dance? 2.9 8 3.0 10 7.340
NBC America’s Got Talent 2.5 7 1.6 5 11.051
ABC Wipeout 2.4 7 2.0 7 6.181
CBS Criminal Minds (repeat) 1.4 4 0.8 3 6.387
CW America’s Next Top Model (repeat) 0.5 1 0.6 2 1.111
10:00 ABC I Survived A Japanese Game Show 1.4 4 1.0 4 3.843
CBS CSI: NY (repeat) 1.4 4 0.9 3 7.200
NBC The Philanthropist 1.1 3 0.7 3 4.737

Here is the 8pm portion of the Overnight Ratings Table for April 29 (last Presidential press conference) for comparison:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share Viewers (Millons)
8:00 FOX Lie to Me 2.4/7 2.1/7 7.88
CW America’s Next Top Model 1.8/6 2.1/7 4.00
ABC President Obama Press Conference 1.6/5 1.4/5 6.12
CBS President Obama Press Conference 1.5/5 0.9/3 6.01
NBC President Obama Press Conference 1.6/5 1.1/4 6.68
UNI Conferencia de Prensa: Barack Obama 1.3/4 1.3/4 3.224

For reference here are the final combined average viewerships (broadcast+cable) for the previous Presidential Press conferences:

Feb: 9: 49.5 million
March 24: 40.4 million
April 29: 28.8 million

We will likely see cable network and combined viewership numbers for last night’s press conference later today.

Shows are sorted by Adults 18-49 rating in each time slot.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Fast Affiliate 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 football 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.

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.

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.)

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 which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. 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.

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