Total day season-to-date ratings from September to May for 18-49 viewers declined 7% to average 1.159 million, according to MoffettNathanson Research. Nielsen’s C3 metric is the average minute commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing.
Fox grew 7% to 2.54 million 18-49 viewers, largely due to the Super Bowl; NBC, was down 6% to 1.035 million; ABC lost 9% to 899,000; and CBS sank 16% to 1.064 million. CBS’ big drop was primarily due to unfavorable comparisons when it aired the Super Bowl in 2016.
Taking out sports programming for this past season, all networks did much worse.
The four networks were down 12% to 877,000 average total day 18-49 viewers. NBC and ABC fared the best, down 10% each; CBS dropped 13% and Fox sank 20%. Fox's big drop was due to the loss of “American Idol” after the 2015-2016 season.
Looking at just sports programming viewing on the networks, there was a modest 2% decline to 2.6 million total day C3 18-49 viewers. Again, Fox, benefiting from the Super Bowl, was up 17% to 3.9 million; CBS, down 21%, to 2.6 million; NBC, up 2% to 2.1 million; and ABC, losing 8% to 1.3 million.