NBC Wins Season TV Ratings, But Broadcast Nets Lose Ground Overall

NBC is nearing another seasonal TV ratings win among key 18-49 viewers -- even without the Super Bowl and Olympics of a year ago. This is its fifth win in six years.

At the same time, NBC was significantly lower in that measure -- as well as for total overall viewers -- versus the year before. It also lost ground in the mid-single-digit percentages -- as did other big networks -- when taking out live news and sports programming.

After 34 weeks -- with three days remaining in the 2018-2019 TV season -- NBC was down 27% versus the 2017-2018 TV season, averaging a Nielsen 1.6 prime-time 18-49 rating from the live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing measure, combined with the live program-same-day time-shifted viewing metric for the most recent two weeks.

NBC averaged a 2.2 18-49 rating of a year ago, when it had the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics.

CBS and Fox tied for second place with a 1.5 rating -- both the same versus a year ago. CBS aired the Super Bowl this year. Also this year, Fox added 11 weeks worth of the big-rated NFL "Thursday Night Football" series.

ABC sank 20% to a 1.2 rating for 18-49 viewers, while The CW dropped 33% to a 0.4 number.

CBS leads all networks -- as it has done for 11 straight seasons -- in total viewers, virtually flat with a year ago at 8.94 million viewers (8.98 million in 2018).

NBC was next, down 19% to 7.2 million, while ABC lost 8% to 5.6 million. Fox was the lone broadcast network to gain, up 9% to 5.4 million. The CW was down 22% to 1.34 million.

Looking at a more even playing field -- taking out live news and sports programming -- NBC, CBS and ABC were down 6% to 8% for all their entertainment programming with CBS at 8.2 million viewers (falling 6%); NBC at 6.7 million (also dropping 6%); and ABC at 5.8 million (giving up 8%).

Fox was 6% higher to 4.2 million, growing partly as a result of high ratings from reality show “The Masked Singer.”

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