Home Media Headlines Broadcast Networks See Red in Ratings

Broadcast Networks See Red in Ratings


The 2012-2013 broadcast TV season is over and the networks probably couldn’t be happier given the ratings drop off they experienced this year.

According to Nielsen ratings for the first time in 21 years CBS finished first in the 18-49 viewer demo averaging a 2.9 rating, down 3%. FOX however had it rough, the network is down 22% to a 2.5 rating, NBC is down 4% with a 2.4 rating and ABC finished last with a 2.2 rating and 12% decline. Univision was flat with a 1.5 in the demo. The CW was down 13% to a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo but the network only guarantees advertisers deliveries of women and adults 18-34.

The median age for broadcast TV viewers also went up – CBS has the oldest audience at 56.2 years median age, up from 55.6 last year. ABC is second with 53.3 years from 52.3, NBC is at 49.6 up from 49.3 and FOX is at 46.6 from 46.2. The CW’s median age jumped 12% from 37.1 to 41.7

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  1. Admin: Do these numbers include viewers that are watching through alternate means, such as on DVR or on demand or through the internet? If not, there could be more viewers than being measured, especially younger viewers.

    • Good question. I would say most likely yes.

      I know DVR and VOD are counted, but differently and with limits up to 7 days after a program airs. That data is probably included here. Nielsen only counts VOD if the same commercials are included, in the same order, as the live program. I don’t think watching already aired episodes online counts.

      The networks also use C3 ratings – monitoring how many are seeing the actual commercials in a live program + 3 days of DVR playback which is even more important and I’ve read is largely responsible for the quick death of many shows.


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