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NBC, CBS and Fox Top Ratings Battles

News, 29 May 2001

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