NBC, CBS Still Tops In Traditional TV Prime-Time Metrics

With about one month to go before the new 2019-2020 broadcast TV season starts, traditional broadcast TV networks continue their mostly steady viewer declines.

For the 11-month TV period -- September 2018 through August 2019 -- NBC still has a lead in 18-49 prime-time viewers, with CBS topping total viewers.

NBC is posting a Nielsen 1.4 rating/7 share for the key 18-49 TV viewership category that many advertisers still desire.

But it is down 22% in ratings versus the same period the year before. NBC delivered strong numbers in the 2017-2018 TV season, when it aired both the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Nielsen results are from live program-plus seven-day time-shifted ratings and live-plus-same day time-shifted viewing for the most recent week.

CBS sits in second place in 18-49 with a Nielsen 1.3/6. But unlike most networks, the numbers are virtually the same versus a year ago. 



This season, CBS aired the Super Bowl -- as well as having strong numbers from the semifinals/finals games of the NCAA “March Madness” men’s college basketball tournament.

ABC and Fox are tied for third place with a 1.2/6.

ABC was down 14% from a year ago -- with Fox slightly up, virtually the same from its 1.2/5 rating and share of a year ago. Fox's new programming addition this season was airing all 11 of the NFL’s high-rated “Thursday Night Football” this past season.

The CW, Telemundo and Univision were tied at a 0.4/2 for 18-49 viewers. All three were down 25% from the 0.5/2 rating and share that each had a year ago.

CBS also endured less declines when it came to total prime-time viewers -- where it perennially leads all networks -- down just 3% to now average 7.62 million viewers. Again, the Super Bowl and NCAA programming were factors.

NBC was down 17% to 6.46 million. ABC lost 6% to 5.25 million. Fox was up 8% to 4.55 million prime-time viewers, also due to those adding prime-time NFL games.

Univision was 10% lower to 1.33 million. The CW was off 22% to 1.21 million, while Telemundo slipped  2% to 1.20 million.

Overall, total average prime-time results from these six networks were down 7% to a total 27.62 million viewers.

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