Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for FOX (AllState Sugar Bowl) and ABC (Rose Bowl) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.


FOX easily won the night with the All-State Sugar Bowl even though Florida won in a blowout.  But 2.5 hours of  New Years Bowl Game was still the best thing going on primetime.  Earlier, the last half hour of the Rose Bowl on ABC was the most-watched half hour of the night.

But people changed over to the Sugar Bowl quickly and even with the big Rose Bowl lead-in of 19.95 million viewers and a 5.8/16 rating/share with adults 18-49 , Better Off Ted could manage no better than 5.62 million and a 1.7/5 with adults 18-49.  By the time a new episode of Scrubs rolled around it was down to 3.53 million and a 1.2/3 with adults 18-49.  Due to the start-times for Better Off Ted (and Scrubs) being at least a few minutes past the half hour,  the numbers will likely be adjusted down.

On the plus side for ABC, an encore airing of 20/20 that focused on the true story behind the movie “The Blind Side” performed very well at 10pm for a repeat.

The preliminary 5.1/14 adults 18-49 rating and 16.05 million viewers for the Sugar Bowl were a significant improvement versus last year’s Sugar Bowl (Utah vs. Alabama on 1/2/09) which averaged a 4.0/11 and 12.57 million


Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millons)
8:00 ABC Rose Bowl: Ohio St. vs. Oregon 5.8/16 19.95
FOX Sugar Bowl Pregame 1.8/5 5.86
CBS Ghost Whisperer (R) 1.0/3 4.51
NBC The Biggest Loser (R) 8p-10p 0.9/3 3.38
CW Smallville x2 8p-10p (R) 0.5/1 1.24
8:30 FOX Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida 5.1/14 15.95
ABC Better Off Ted 1.7/5 5.62
9:00 FOX Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida 5.8/16 18.46
ABC Scrubs 1.2/3 3.53
CBS Medium (R) 1.0/3 4.68
9:30 FOX Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida 5.5/14 17.38
ABC Better Off Ted (R) 0.9/2 2.74
10:00 FOX Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida 5.2/14 16.16
ABC 20/20 (R) 1.6/5 5.57
NBC The Jay Leno Show (R) 1.0/3 3.36
CBS Numb3rs (R) 0.9/2 4.91
10:30 FOX Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida 4.1/11 12.29


Ratings data via Marc Berman’s PI forums.

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

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 and Numbers 102.

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