Ratings for broadcast networks are down again this year, with two of the big 4 networks accounting for the falloff, Media Life Magazine reports.
In the key demo of viewers 18-49, Fox and NBC are both off significantly from a year ago, even though NBC remains No. 1. While CBS is holding steady, ABC has bucked the downtrend by posting an increase.
The overall trend has been downward for years, with new distribution formats such as online streaming contributing to a migration from traditional linear channels.
Combining the results for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW, the decline is 7% so far this year, the article reports.
“The five networks together are averaging a 10.1 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen, off 7 percent from a 10.9 at this point last year. That includes a mix of live-plus-same-day and live-plus-seven-day-DVR-playback ratings.”
NBC comes in with a 2.6 average in 18-49, off 10% from a 2.9 last year that included coverage of the Winter Olympics.
Second-place CBS is holding steady with a 2.4, followed by ABC with a 2.2 — up from a 2.1 at this point last year.
“Fox is in fourth with a 2.1, taking a 19 percent hit from last year, when it ranked second with a 2.6. Of course, Fox also carried the Super Bowl last year, which accounts for some of its declines. NBC aired the game this year,” Media Life notes.
The hefty decline for Fox comes even as the network is airing the breakout hit of the current broadcast season in “Empire.” (See related story.)
Fifth-place CW matches its 0.8 from a year ago.