Friday, May 25, 2012

NBC Takes Bragging Rights for Third Place, Among 18-49 Demo

Interesting that NBC put out the following news release ti brag that it was a solid "#3" in the ratings among the top broadcast networks and that it finished the season 9% ahead of last year, partially based on ratings for the Super Bowl.   But that's just for viewers 18-49.  The overall rankings tell another story that of NBC in fourth place behind CBS, Fox and ABC.

Here are the overall rankings:

Total Viewers (Season Averages)


CBS…11.6 million…11.7 million…+1%

Fox…9.8 million…8.9 million…-9%

ABC…8.5 million…8.4 million…-2%

NBC…7.0 million…7.4 million…+5%

CW…2.0 million…1.7 million…-15%

Here's the NBC news release:

NBC has concluded the 2011-2012 traditional September-to-May primetime television season with a 2.5 rating and a 9 percent gain in adult 18-49 rating versus last season’s 2.3, the biggest increase among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. The 2.5 rating ranks #3 among major broadcast networks behind Fox and CBS and ahead of ABC.

Led by the success this season of “The Voice,” Super Bowl XLVI and “Sunday Night Football,” NBC has also finished the season #2 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-34 with a 2.0 rating, up 5 percent over last season’s 1.9.

“Not since the 2003-2004 season has NBC been out of fourth place in 18-49 viewers, so we’re thrilled to rank in third place for this season,” said Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt. “We’ve taken some key first steps towards rebuilding primetime, including a great second cycle for ‘The Voice’ and promising first seasons for shows like ‘Smash’ and ‘Grimm’. With a largely new staff in place and a strong development season under our belts – not to mention some big promotional opportunities presented by this summer’s London Olympics and two nights of ‘The Voice’ in the fall – we’re in a very good position to build on the progress of this past season. We’re genuinely excited about the future.”

During the 2009-2010 season, NBC tied ABC in 18-49 rating and trailed in 18-49 viewers and has otherwise finished #4 in both 18-49 rating and 18-49 viewers during each traditional May-to-September season since 2003-2004.

According to “most current” season averages from Nielsen Media Research, “Sunday Night Football” is the #1 primetime series of the season in adults 18-49, averaging an 8.0 rating (“live plus seven day” averages for the dates of the traditional primetime season), and total viewers, with 20.7 million. It’s the first time since the 2002-2003 season that any series besides Fox’s “American Idol” has claimed the #1 ranking in either categories, ending eight-year streaks atop those lists for “Idol.”

NBC’s “The Voice” is the season’s #2 entertainment series, finishing 0.1 of a point behind the Wednesday edition of “American Idol” (with a 6.1 rating vs. “Idol’s” 6.2). In adults 18-34, “The Voice” is the #1 entertainment series on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox with a 5.3 rating.

While February’s Super Bowl played a key role in the network’s improved ranking this season, NBC is also the only network among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox that’s shown year-to-year growth since the Super Bowl in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. Since February 6, NBC is up 11 percent in adults 18-49 and up 7 percent in adults 18-34 versus year-ago results while ratings for ABC, CBS and Fox are flat or down year-to-year in both categories.

Also, in regular-program averages for the 2011-2012 season that exclude the Super Bowl, NBC is the only network among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox to increase its 18-49 rating this season versus last. In those regular-program averages, NBC is tied with ABC for #3 in adults 18-49 (2.5 rating each) and is #2 ahead of CBS and ABC in adults 18-34 (with a 2.0 rating vs. a 1.9 for ABC and a 1.8 for CBS).

The median age of NBC’s audience is younger this season than last, 49.3 this season versus 49.6 for 2011-2012. Other median ages were: Fox, 46.3 versus last season’s 45.4; ABC, 52.4 versus last season’s 51.5; and CBS, 55.6 versus last season’s 55.1.

Among the highlights generated by NBC’s first-year shows of the past season, Monday’s “Smash” currently ranks tied for the highest adult 18-49 rating for any 10 p.m. ET drama on ABC, CBS or NBC (3.2 rating, tied with CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” and “CSI,” “most current” season averages through May 23) and Friday’s “Grimm” is the #1 Friday drama on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox in 18-49 (with a 2.1 rating).


  1. "Sunday night football" was a huge win for NBC not to mention "America's got talent". I really wanted to start watching "Grimm" but I've always forgotten to set my DVR timer, and I'm not at home when it airs so that why I choose to get Dish’s Hopper. A Dish co-worker told me that the Hoppers PrimeTime Anytime feature automatically records my CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC prime time shows everyday in HD! I don’t have to worry about if my other recordings will record, because the Hopper has a separate storage space for these PrimeTime Anytime recordings. I’ve also learned that the Hoppers Auto Hop feature gives me the option to skip my PrimeTime Anytime commercials, and this gives me more time to see what else there is to watch on TV.

    1. Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC execs want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV