Broadcast Trumps Cable In NFL Football

Thursday night NFL football programming was a boon for CBS network -- as well as its stations in many demographics -- when it came to the eight games it aired earlier this season.

CBS averaged a Nielsen live-plus-same day program rating of 5.9 among adults 18-49, versus a 1.3 rating for the NFL Network, which also aired the games. Among 25-54 viewers, CBS was at a 6.6 rating compared to a 1.4 for the NFL Network.

In those home team markets, local TV stations' ratings for men 25-54 were at an average 19.8 rating -- and a 3.1 rating for men 25-54 viewers in those local cable markets via the NFL Network.

“Given a shot at the same programming, broadcast delivered almost five times the ratings of cable,” said Hadassa Gerber, senior vice president of chief research officer for TVB, the TV stations advertising group.

CBS, which aired the games simultaneously with the NFL Network, averaged 16 million total viewers from week two through eight. CBS averaged a Nielsen 8.8 rating among men 25-54 to the NFL Network’s 2.2 rating.



NFL Network, which in previous years aired the games alone, took a hit with its viewership year-to-year when paired with CBS. In weeks two through eight, it averaged 2.944 million viewers versus 7.332 million for the same time period a year ago. NFL Network is in 62.2% of U.S. TV homes.

But in the three games after the initial eight games of CBS-NFL Network simultaneous airing -- weeks nine through eleven, where the games resumed exclusively on NFL Network -- the cable network grabbed back its total audience, averaging 7.665 million.

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