Wednesday, November 21, 2012


For the first time since 2003, NBC’s prime time lineup scored in first place in the ratings among adults 18-49 for the November sweeps, rising from a #4 ranking in the November period one year ago, according to “live plus same day” viewership data from Nielsen Media Research.

 With 25 of 28 nights counted in the November sweeps, NBC is averaging a 2.8 rating, up 17 percent versus NBC’s 2.4 rating at the conclusion the November 2011 sweeps. In averages through Sunday, Nov. 18, NBC leads sweeps runner-up CBS by 0.4 of a point or 17 percent, with Monday through Wednesday results yet to be factored into sweeps averages. If NBC finishes the sweeps with that 17 percent margin, it will match the biggest advantage for any network in a November sweeps since NBC won by 19 percent in 2002 (Fox also won by 17 percent in 2009).

NBC is also #1 for the sweeps through 25 nights in adults 25-54, adults 18-34 and all key adult-male demographics.

If NBC maintains its 2.8 rating in adults 18-49 through the conclusion of  sweeps, it would be its highest-rated November since 2008 (2.8). In total viewers, NBC’s current average of 7.9 million would be its highest for a November since 2007. The sweeps conclude Wednesday night, November 21 and Nielsen is scheduled to have “live plus same day” official national results for the full 28-day period on Monday, November 26.

For the November sweeps, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” ranked as the #1 primetime series on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, averaging a 7.6 rating in “live plus same day.” “The Voice” (4.5 with its Monday edition) was the #1 unscripted series of the sweeps, “Revolution” (2.8) was the #1 new drama and “Go On” (2.2) was the #1 new comedy.

“SNF” was the #1 primetime show of the sweeps on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in total viewers; adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54; men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54; and teens 12-17. Monday’s “Voice” was #1 on those networks in women 18-34.

November Sweeps Adults 18-49, Live Plus Same Day, Adults 18-49

25 of 28 Nights vs. Completed Sweeps Last Year

Net…November 2011… November 2012…Difference

NBC…2.4…2.8…Up 17%

CBS…2.8…2.4…Down 14%

ABC…2.5…2.2…Down 12%

Fox…3.1…2.3…Down 26%

November Sweeps Total Viewers, Live Plus Same Day, Total Viewer

25 of 28 Nights vs. Completed Sweeps Last Year

Net…November 2011… November 2012…Difference

NBC…6.857 million …7.917 million…Up 15%

CBS…11.419 million…10.281 million…Down 10%

ABC…9.275 million …7.927 million…Down 15%

Fox…8.642 million …6.522 million…Down 25%

November Sweeps Total Viewers, Live Plus Same Day, Adults 25-54

25 of 28 Nights vs. Completed Sweeps Last Year

Net…November 2011… November 2012…Diff

NBC…2.8…3.3…Up 18%

CBS…3.8…3.2…Down 16%

ABC…3.2…2.7…Down 16%

Fox…3.5…2.5…Down 29%

NBC is the only network among ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW to deliver a younger audience this November than last, with a median age down to 47.8 from last November’s 48.7. NBC’s audience is within 0.6 years of Fox for youngest viewership among the Big 4 networks in November.

Median Ages for November Sweeps

25 of 28 Nights vs. Completed Sweeps Last Year

Net…November 2011… November 2012






On both Monday and Tuesday nights, NBC moved from #4 to #1 from November 2011 to November 2012, according to data through the first three weeks of the sweeps. This November versus last, NBC is up 200 percent on Monday night in 18-49 (to a 3.9 rating from a 1.3) and up 71 percent on Tuesdays (3.6 vs. 2.1).

Through November 18, NBC has won eight straight in-season Mondays in 18-49 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, NBC’s longest in-season Monday win streak in the 25-year history of Nielsen’s people meter sample. NBC has also won six consecutive Tuesdays in 18-49 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, the network’s longest in-season Tuesday winning streak in eight years (since November 16-December 21, 2004).

The month also included an NBC Wednesday win on November 7, the network’s first in-season Wednesday victory with non-sports programming since Christmas Eve 2008.

NBC’s sweeps success also included the top-rated Presidential Election coverage on Tuesday, Nov. 6, as NBC News averaged 12.0 million viewers and a 4.3 rating in adults 18-49 during primetime that night.

In “live plus seven day” results for the first eight weeks of the 2012-13 season to date, NBC is up 23 percent in 18-49 rating (with a 3.2 vs. a year-ago 2.6) and up 18 percent in total viewers (8.7 million vs. 7.4 million). NBC is ahead of its year-ago season average by double-digit percentages in every key ratings category.

Season to date, NBC is also tied for #1 with CBS in adults 25-54 (3.7 rating each) and is #1 among adults 18-54 (3.3 vs. 3.2) as well as adults 18-34 and all key adult-male demos.

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