NBC Tops Broadcast Nets

Closing out 2014, NBC remains the leading broadcast network among key viewers — but the race could narrow in the new year.

After 14 weeks of the 2014-15 broadcast television season through December 28, NBC is at an average Nielsen live-plus-seven-day 2.8 rating among 18-49 viewers. CBS is second with a 2.5, followed by ABC at 2.3, Fox with 2.0 and the CW at 0.9.

Total viewers place CBS first at 11.50 million viewers, followed by NBC at 9.6 million; ABC at 8.4 million; Fox at 5.9 million; and CW with 2.3 million.

Both CBS and NBC benefit greatly from prime-time sports — in particular NFL game programming on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

One of NBC’s big programming contributors -- “Sunday Night Football,” the top TV broadcast show -- has now ended its run as the regular season NFL coverage concludes. The show pulled in 21.3 million total viewers on average this season, down from 21.7 million a year ago. Earlier, CBS also concluded its new “Thursday Night Football” package.

For the most recent week ending December 21, ESPN was the No. 1 cable network in total average prime-time viewers -- 2.66 million, according to Nielsen’s live program-plus-same day metric.

ABC Family was next at 2.55 million, followed by USA Network with 1.79 million; Fox News at 1.68 million; Disney Channel with 1.59 million; History at 1.53 million; Hallmark Channel with 1.52 million; TBS at 1.50 million; TNT with 1.44 million; and NFL Network at 1.39 million.

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