Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Some random Super Bowl thoughts:
I was in Lawrence, Kan., over the weekend and got back home midway through the first quarter. I never watch the pregame festivities, so I didn't miss much. It was an exciting game, but once again, NBC proved to be the dullest network when it comes to sports. I have actually passed out during the "Sunday Night Football" pregame show. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth are not much better and added little to the game.
The halftime show was abysmal. It felt like endless shots of Justin Timberlake walking toward the camera with a different entourage in each take. It did set up the line of the night, when Collinsworth compared the excitement of the game to Justin Timberlake's halftime performance. I'm betting he was in the men's room rather than watching the performance.
The commercials were unimaginable, with one outstanding exception, when my boys Eli and Odell did their homage to "Dirty Dancing." It was so good I will consider that the Giants' fifth Super Bowl win. Honestly though, I could not tell you who the advertiser was if you put a gun to my head.
There seemed to be a paucity of commercials whose theme was "guys are idiots," which seems to be a popular area for super Bowl ads.
Everyone knows that the Olympics are coming, and they are not going to watch more because of Olympics promos at this point. The proximity of the games to the Super Bowl paired with the two-week hiatus in entertainment programming sort of made this a missed opportunity for NBC to sell its wares.
NBC rewarded the loyal fans of "This Is Us," who have made it one the most popular shows on television, with an almost 11 p.m. ET start time for a pivotal episode in the series. This is not a slam against NBC. Trust me, I did it a few times in my career. To NBC's credit, they did not fluff the post-game and kept reminding viewers what was coming up next.
Bottom line for me: GET OFF MY LAWN and big up to my Philadelphia friends. You still have three to go to catch up to my Giants … actually, four.
On email it's masked.scheduler@gmail.com, and follow along on Twitter @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018

Note: NBC’s live Super Bowl broadcast will result in greater adjustments than usual for the network.

The numbers for Sunday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. Super Bowl LII (NBC) (6:31-10:25 p.m.) 30.9/72 103.40*
60 Minutes (CBS) 0.3/1 3.05
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) – R 0.3/1 1.91
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) – R 0.1/0 0.43
7:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.2/1 0.59
8 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) – R 0.4/1 1.98
The Simpsons (FOX) – R 0.4/1 0.93
NCIS (CBS) – R 0.2/1 2.62
8:30 p.m. Ghosted (FOX) – R 0.2/1 0.62
9 p.m. Shark Tank (ABC) – R 0.4/1 1.58
Family Guy (FOX) – R 0.3/1 0.72
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) – R 0.2/1 2.67
9:30 p.m. LA to Vegas (FOX) – R 0.2/1 0.65
10 p.m. Super Bowl Postgame (NBC) (10:25-10:45 p.m.) 28.2/69 73.50*
Shark Tank (ABC) – R 0.5/1 2.16
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – R 0.4/1 3.38
10:30 p.m. This Is Us (NBC) (10:45-11:49 p.m.) 9.3* 26.98*

*Time zone-adjusted ratings.

UPDATED throughout: Super Bowl LII was the least-watched Super Bowl of the decade, but it still pulled in one of the 10 biggest audiences ever on American TV.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots averaged 103.4 million viewers, down about 7 percent vs. the 111.32 million viewers for last year’s game. Final adults 18-49 figures will be out Tuesday morning.

In the only way an audience of more than 100 million people can be called “small,” the game drew the smallest Super Bowl audience since 2009’s game drew 98.38 million viewers. That was the last time the game fell below 100 million. It ranks as the 10th most-watched program in American TV history, behind the last eight Super Bowls and the series finale of “M*A*S*H” in 1983.

Streaming (2.02 million average) and other broadcast outlets brought the game’s total to 106 million viewers.

Following the game, “This Is Us” posted a 9.3 rating among adults 18-49 and just under 27 million viewers. It was the biggest total audience for a Super Bowl lead-out since “The Voice” in 2012 (37.61 million) and the best 18-49 number since “New Girl” earned an 11.4 in 2014.

It was the most-watched scripted show on NBC since a May 6, 2004 episode of “ER” drew 28.4 million people following the “Friends” series finale.

Following late local news, a special “Tonight Show” drew 8.41 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49. It was down some from 9.8 million people who tuned in following the 2015 Super Bowl.

Network averages:

NBC ABC CBS FOX
Adults 18-49 rating/share 28.6/68 0.4/1 0.3/1 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 87.34 1.91 2.93 0.66

 

Definitions:
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.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. 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. 
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. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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