The race for viewers in the recently completed broadcast season appears to have been particularly close run, with three TV networks – NBC, CBS and Fox – professing good results.

NBC topped the most important category, the 18–49 age group, gaining a Nielsen rating of 4.8 (1.022 million households per point) and a 13% audience share (of households where televisions are switched on).

Fox led the field among 18 to 34-year-olds but came second in the key 18–49 group, with a Nielsen rating of 4.5 and a share of 12% – a year-on-year growth in viewer numbers of 7%.

Although CBS claimed the most overall viewers, it could only manage fourth place in the 18–49 group, viewers in this category rising 7% on last year to produce a 4.0 rating and an 11% share. Between Fox and CBS in third place was ABC, which saw viewing figures fall 20% over the year with a 4.4 rating and a 12% share.

The WB network had a robust season, its share of viewers jumping 19% in the 18–34 group and 18% among 18 to 49-year-olds. Results at UPN were mixed with flat growth in the 18–49 category masking a 12% drop in the 18–34 market and a 7% rise in the 25–54 group.

The most-watched program was CBS’s Survivor: The Australian Outback, attracting an average of 29.76m viewers per broadcast; in second place was NBC’s ER with 22.44m.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline