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Did CBS Just Take a Poke at NBC?

Feb 21, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Most of NBC’s rival networks are keeping a low profile with their ratings announcements while the Peacock dominates the viewer totals with its Olympics coverage — even if NBC’s totals are down from the Sochi Games four years ago. But CBS offered an amusing spin on last week’s numbers that might be interpreted as a jab at NBC.

The Tiffany Network sent out an announcement today summarizing the ratings results for the week ending, Feb. 18, which ran under the headline: “CBS Is Not Playing Games, But Claims Ratings Silver in Viewers and Demos.” The announcement goes on to note that CBS had the week’s “top four most-watched non-Olympic primetime shows,” citing four episodes of “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.”

Considering that “Big Brother” is generally considered to be a game, the “not playing games” claim is questionable. Nonetheless, CBS did finish a strong second for the week in key measures.

CBS averaged 4.476 million total viewers for the week, well behind NBC’s 17.604 million but ahead of ABC’s 3.203 million and Fox’s 1.649 million. In the key advertiser-friendly demo of adults 18-49, CBS settled for a tie with ABC for second place with a 0.7 average rating, again well behind NBC, which averaged a 4.2. Fox trailed with a 0.4 average rating.

CBS was second in the adults 25-54 demo with a 1.1 average rating, well behind NBC’s 5.5 but ahead of ABC with a 0.9 average and Fox with a 0.5.

“Against Olympian competition, CBS claimed a strong ratings silver for Week 21 of the 2017-2018 broadcast season according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings,” CBS said, noting that it finished second in viewers on six of the seven nights.

For the season to date through week 21, NBC is in first place in all three measures with CBS second in total viewers and adults 25-54 while Fox is currently running second in adults 18-49.

Season to date, total viewers:

NBC: 10.018 million

CBS: 9.234 million

ABC: 5.822 million

Fox: 5.738 million

Season to date, adults 18-49:

NBC: 2.6 average rating

Fox: 1.7

CBS: 1.6

ABC: 1.4

Season to date, adults 25-54:

NBC: 3.2 average rating

CBS: 2.3

Fox: 2.1

ABC: 1.8

One Comment

  1. I am starting to wonder if the price tag that is associated with producing and telecasting the Olypics is really worth it? What has seemed to turn viewers off is both the commercial and political aspects of the games: The commentary and, “The following is brought to you by our friends at…….” Over-saturation?

    CBS does not compete in the 18-49? Or, do they just not focus on that demo? 18-49 is leaving broadcast mediums. Why not a 32-58 demo?

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