ABC Recovers in US November Ratings Sweep

28 November 2002

Data from the latest US television ratings sweep suggest Disney-owned network ABC is bouncing back from a disastrous couple of years.

The broadcaster moved from fourth place among 18–49-year-olds last November to second, surging 8%. Boosted by reality-TV hit The Bachelor, it was one of the top two networks in the age group on five nights of the week.

NBC came top in this demographic, posting a 5.1 rating compared with ABC’s 4.2 – the biggest lead by any network for six years.

CBS, meanwhile, retained its spot as number one among all viewers, though its lead over NBC was cut from over a million to around 200,000. It fell to third place among 18–49-year-olds in the sweep, but argues it would be second if figures going back to September were included.

The big loser was Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, the only network to post a significant fall so far this season. Even when the flattering effects of the World Series are removed from last November’s ratings, the network fell 16%–18% in both the 18–49 category and among all viewers. It was in fourth place among both groups.

Outside the ‘big four’ networks, there was cause for celebration at WB, which reported growth of 17% among 18–49-year-olds, faster than any of its rivals.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff