December 31, 2012

Broadcast Network Rankings through December 30 — NFL Delivers Again Big Time for NBC

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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LAST NIGHT.  Christmas came again to NBC in the form of last night’s Sunday Night Football game, the final regular season game of the year but which actually was an extra playoff game.  Washington defeated Dallas in a game that awarded the NFC East title and more importantly the final playoff spot.  The game received a 9.2 Adult 18-49 rating in the fast nationals, and we are estimating that will go up to a 10.6 rating at least in the official nationals.  (The previous high this season for SNF was a 9.7 rating for the season opener on Wednesday, September 3 for Dallas at New York Giants).

The SNF game was so big yesterday that it actually beat the 4:30 pm national NFL game, which is normally the most-watched telecast of the week.  More on the sports ratings results from this weekend in SKEDBALL later today.

THE WEEK.  For the recently completed week ending Sunday (December 24-30, 2012), NBC maintained first place with a 2.27 rating in prime time, easily its worst week of the season so far but miles ahead of the competition this week.  NBC is down 8% from last week’s 2.48 but up 2% from the 2.23 rating during the same week last year.  With The Voice gone, all the pressure is on the NFL to keep NBC afloat, but small assists were provided by a repeat Dateline NBC (a 1.7 rating from 9-11 pm on tough Friday night) and a 1.5 rating from the 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, the least-watched TV night of the year.  The 1.5 provided a comfortable victory versus the other broadcast networks on the night, but keep in mind TBS actually won Monday the 24th with a 2.1 rating from 8- 10 pm from the more recent classic, A Christmas Story (from 1983).

FOX remained in second place with a 1.37 rating for the week, tumbling from a 1.97 last week and a 1.75 the same week last year.  On Sunday, FOX was bailed out by a huge rating from 7-8 pm for the end of Green Bay at Minnesota (between an 8.5 and 9.0 in the official nationals).  The game was not quite a playoff — the Vikings had to win to get into the playoffs, while the Packers were in either way.  As it turned out, Minnesota held on to win and will face the Packers yet again next week in the first round of the playoffs.  But the rest of the week was a holiday disaster.  A marathon of each live action comedy (Raising Hope on Monday, New Girl on Tuesday, Ben and Kate on Wednesday, and Mindy Project on Thursday) generated a low 0.6 or 0.7 for each episode.

CBS will average a 1.24 rating for the week, also down from both last week (1.48) and the same week last year (1.37).  Highlights for the quiet week included an impressive 3.3 rating for a repeat Big Bang Theory, a 2.2 rating for a repeat Two and a Half Men, and a 1.9 rating for a repeat Person of Interest, all on Thursday.

ABC is headed for a 1.09 weekly rating, down slightly from last week (1.15) and down even more from last year’s comparable week (1.25).  ABC’s best night of the week was Christmas Night: a 3.6 rating for the end of the Boston-Brooklyn NBA game, a 1.8 for the classic Grinch animated special, and 1.7 for the not-so-classic Grinch movie.  Every other night, however, was below or just barely at a 1 rating.


SEASON TO DATE through 14 weeks (with adjusted fast national ratings for the last three nights):

NBC is averaging a 2.70 adult 18-49 rating in prime time (up 19% from the same period last year).

CBS is in second place with a 2.22 (down 17%).

FOX is in third place with a 2.06 (down 25%).

ABC is in fourth with a 1.91 (down 12%).

Collectively, the four networks total an 8.88 rating (down 10% from 9.86 the same period last year).

The CW is averaging a 0.56 in prime so far this season (down 12%).




About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.