Traditional Program Viewing Sinks For TV Networks

For the entire September to September TV season, broadcast networks showed more declines in traditional prime-time TV program ratings -- with three of the four top channels losing ground.

NBC was the only network to show a gain, up 4% to a 2.21 Nielsen 18-49 rating. Results were for live program plus seven days of time-shifted viewing, and live-plus-same day ratings for the most recent two-week period through September 11.

NBC just aired 17 days of high-rated Rio Olympics programming in August. It also airs the top-rated “Sunday Night Football” package.

CBS was down 3% to a 1.86; ABC, sinking 11% to a 1.73; and Fox was down 7% to a 1.57. CBS airs an NFL “Thursday Night Football” package of games.

In total viewers, CBS was down 4% to 9.1 million viewers; NBC was up 13% to 8.4 million viewers, while ABC was off 10% to 6.4 million; and Fox slipped 6% to 4.8 million.

Leaving out sports and live news programming, all networks showed losses.

NBC did the best of the bunch -- down 2% to an average 1.73 Nielsen among 18-49 viewers. CBS was down 10% to a Nielsen 1.60 rating among 18-49 viewers. ABC gave up 11% to a 1.67 Nielsen rating; and Fox lost 7% to a 1.44 number.

NBC was the only network to grow among 25-54 viewers -- with or without sports programming. With sports, it was up 6% to a 2.83 rating; without sports, 0.4% higher to a 2.30 rating.



5 comments about "Traditional Program Viewing Sinks For TV Networks".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, September 14, 2016 at 12:53 p.m.

    There is no hiding Ed. Warren Buffet famously said 
    “You never know who's swimming naked until the tide goes out.”

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, September 14, 2016 at 1:13 p.m.

    Dear Wayne & TND Headline Writer,

    The first definition of "sink" (as a verb) in the OED:
    "To become submerged in water; to go under or to the bottom;
    (of ships) to founder."
    Must we hold the burial and the funeral before the object of our concern dies?  
    Whether it's social science or political science, 
    germs that may cause "innumeracy" and illiteracy seem to be in the air.

    Sticking to the facts might prevent brutal and unnecessary cases of catastrophizing.

    Onward and upward.


    Nicholas P. Schiavone

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 14, 2016 at 3:22 p.m.

    Some of the digital fanatics will never be able to grasp the difference between  what is actually happening versus what they want to happen. Sad. As the great but so far unsung Mongolian philosopher, Shin Lee Yakyak, once put it. "They have eyes but they can not see, they have brains but they can not think, etc. "

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 15, 2016 at 11:19 a.m.

    Yep, the average commercial minute rating for the four broadcast TV networks in primetime is down about 7-8% again---nothing new about this. And, by the way, isn't The CW also a broadcast TV network? So how did it do---better, perhaps? All of which means very little in the big scheme of things as every platform that miust contend with a growing number of alternative platforms vying for audiences can only expect to suffer declining average minute rating levels---especially among younger and middle aged viewers. Rating erosion will also come to Netflix and other alternative content suppliers just as it has come to cable. So what? Advertisers who want to exploit TV's vast superioirty in reach simply spread out their media buys across many networks and cable channels and a reasonable level of reach is attained. There are no ad blockers to limit your reach.

    As for how much is paid to reach each viewer per commercial placement, of course it costs more---that's called inflation. Just as marketers ask consumers to pay more for the same products---and, often, give you less in return---TV ad sellers must cope with rising operating and content procurement costs in the same manner. Sorry Chicken Littles of the world---the sky isn't falling.

  5. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, September 17, 2016 at 5:36 p.m.

    P.1:  Use "sinks" in a sentence, please.

    P.2:  You was dishes in sinks.

    P.1:  Thank you.  That is correct.

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