Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Sports is essential to a broadcast network, probably moreso now than ever.
First, sports ratings drive the networks' overall season averages and often determine who will be the No. 1 network for the season. The Super Bowl generally adds two to three tenths of a rating point to a network's primetime average. Since giving up "Monday Night Football" (or moving it over to ESPN) ABC is at a disadvantage vs. the other Big 4 nets, who all have the NFL, World Series, NCAA Tournament or Winter Olympics factored into their averages.
Sports is also a valuable negotiating tool when network stations and affiliates are negotiating retransmission fees with cable and satellite systems.
Networks also claim that they make money off of televised sports, but to be honest, I am a bit skeptical -- especially if they are talking exclusively about selling ads. But I could be wrong.
What sports is not very good at is being a platform for promoting network entertainment. Early in my scheduling career, I coined the term "borrowed audience" to describe the sports viewer. They generally do not watch the host network and vacate the premises as soon as the game is over. Most network promos are more likely to remind them why they DON'T watch the channel than to entice them to tune in to a show.
On the network side, executives obsess about which shows to promote, and they generally wind up promoting everything so as to appease their showrunners. As a result, little actually sticks with the viewer. Everything starts to sound like hyperbole.
I joked on Twitter last night that I know less about "The Four," FOX's new singing competition, after the World series than I did before -- but I was only sort of joking. The only show that stuck was the promo for Ryan Murphy's "9-1-1," and only because a promo about a show where people save lives ends with them failing to save a life. Ryan Murphy ... yup.
Tell me I'm wrong at or tweet me @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

Note: FOX’s live World Series broadcast could result in greater adjustments than usual for the network in the final ratings.

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. World Series Game 7 (FOX) (8-11 p.m.) 7.0/25 24.68
Survivor (CBS) 1.5/6 7.53
The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.2/5 4.93
The Blacklist (NBC) 0.8/3 5.13
Riverdale (The CW) 0.6/2 1.58
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) 0.9/3 3.87
9 p.m. Modern Family (ABC) 1.5/5 5.51
SEAL Team (CBS) – R 0.7/3 4.67
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.7/3 3.95
Dynasty (The CW) 0.2/1 0.76
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) 1.2/5 4.52
10 p.m. Designated Survivor (ABC) 0.7/3 3.95
Chicago PD (NBC) – R 0.7/3 4.00
SEAL Team (CBS) – R 0.6/2 3.37


Game 7 of the World Series delivered huge numbers for FOX Wednesday night. The originals that aired opposite the Houston Astros’ series-clinching win, not surprisingly, were mostly down.

The game delivered an 18.8 household rating in metered markets, the second-highest mark for any baseball game in the past 13 years (behind only last year’s Game 7). It ended just before midnight ET, so upward adjustments are likely in the final ratings.

“Survivor” and “Modern Family” tied for the lead among adults 18-49 on the other networks, each scoring a 1.5 rating. Both were down 0.2 vs. last week. “The Goldbergs” (1.2) and “Speechless” (0.9) also fell two tenths of a point for ABC, and “American Housewife” was off a tenth at 1.2.

“The Blacklist,” “Designated Survivor,” “Riverdale” and “Dynasty” all held steady with last week. CBS and NBC aired reruns from 9-11 p.m.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 7.0/25 1.1/4 0.9/3 0.7/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 24.68 4.45 5.19 4.36 1.17


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/2, 2.3/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/2, 1.6/4

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.4/2, 1.6/4

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4


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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