TV Nets' C3 Ratings Dip 7% Among Key Viewers

Nielsen C3 ratings -- a major measure for TV marketers -- have showed high mid-single-digit declines for the just-completed TV season for the major four English-speaking TV networks.

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.

2 comments about "TV Nets' C3 Ratings Dip 7% Among Key Viewers".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 31, 2017 at 11:22 a.m.

    Just to be clear, when Nielsen reports a 7% decline in the networks' primetime ratings among 18-49s in a given month compared to the same month last year and then, reports an 8% decline the next month--again compared to the same month last year---the findings are not additive. The networks' average minute ratings for the two-month period are down only 7.5%, not 15% as some innocents seem to believe.

  2. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics replied, May 31, 2017 at 2:18 p.m.

    Agree. In this case the numbers are for the full September to May season. 7% is a lot to make up on digital devices. 

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