TV network NBC is set to win this month’s ratings sweeps for the 18–49 age bracket and is also narrowly ahead in overall viewing figures.

NBC’s average prime-time audience jumped 3% on last November’s sweeps to 13.9 million, thanks largely to the success of long-running hits like Friends, Frasier and ER. It was the only major network to see a year-on-year rise in ratings, as ABC’s figures fell 10% to just under 13.9m and CBS dropped 10% to 12m.

In the 18–49 age range, a crucial group for advertisers, NBC’s ratings jumped 4% to 5.7 points (each point representing 1.24m viewers). ABC’s score in this group fell 15% to 5, while CBS dropped 5% to 3.7. The poor performance of Disney’s ABC reflects the audience-ageing of its top-rated show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, the median age of which has risen to 54 from 44.1 last year

Fox, whose viewing figures have been rising this season, performed badly in the sweeps, due to its low-rated coverage of the US election. Both its overall audience and score among the 18–49 group dropped 4% to 9.6m and 4.6 respectively.

The current round of sweeps (audience measurement periods), which take place four times a year, ends today.

News source: Wall Street Journal