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NBC gains among high-income adults

Jan 7, 2002  •  Post A Comment

When it comes to dollars and demos, color the Peacock Network green, flush with big-bucks adult viewers of all ages.
In prime time, “NBC has the highest average median household income of any network among virtually every adult age segment and is the only network to have a higher median income than the total U.S. population across the board,” concludes Steve Sternberg, senior VP and director of audience analysis, Magna Global USA, in “Primetime Median Income,” his analysis of Nielsen data for October through November from 1999 through 2001. Color NBC’s competitors, scrambling for dollars in a tough marketplace, green with envy.
Of course, high median income for a particular demographic watching a particular show is not necessarily a reliable predictor of that demo’s desirability to advertisers. “For example, `Dawson’s Creek’ ranks third in household median income among adults 50-plus,” Mr. Sternberg noted in the report. “This is because the relatively few older viewers that watch the show happen to be upscale.”
Given that both the younger and the older demos tend to have lower median incomes than demos made up of people in their “peak earning” years, a high median income for a particular demographic watching a particular show is most significant when it is “significantly above” that demo’s overall income average, Mr. Sternberg said.
Advertisers looking to reach adults over 18 with median annual incomes above $60,000 have no fewer than 14 broadcast-network choices, ranging from “The West Wing” to “Scrubs” and “24.” But if those advertisers want to reach a substantial number of 18- to 34-year-olds with median annual incomes above $60,000, until recently those choices shrank to just two shows that were upscale as well as in the top 30 of both the overall ratings and that coveted demographic-NBC’s “Will & Grace” and “Inside Schwartz.”
Now, of course, there’s only one; “Inside Schwartz” has been canceled.