CBS is about to notch a milestone it hasn’t achieved in 15 years. Writing in The New York Times’ Media Decoder, Bill Carter reports the network will not only win the February sweeps ratings period in total viewers, but also come in No. 1 among viewers 18 to 49, marking the first time CBS will win the period in the key demo since 1998.
Carter writes: "CBS’s traditional strength is among older viewers, but this month the numbers in the 18-to-49 category fell decidedly in its favor. With just two nights left to be counted, CBS is averaging a 4.3 rating in that group, far ahead of ABC, which is second with a 2.2 rating. Fox is now third, with a 2 rating. That is an unusual place for that network because for a decade it has ridden high in February on the strength of ‘American Idol.’"
NBC is trailing all of its broadcast rivals, including Spanish-language network Univision, the piece adds. Its 19-49 average is 1.2, the worst ever for a major broadcast network and behind Univision’s 1.5.
CBS’s results are helped by the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards, along with strong numbers for its regular lineup.