SBD/May 25, 2012/Media

NBC's "SNF" Leads Primetime; First Time A Sports Series Is TV's Most-Watched

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched primetime show during the '11-12 TV season, becoming the first sports series to finish a season ranked No. 1. "SNF" averaged 20.9 million viewers for its games during the official TV season, which ran from Sept. 19-May 23. Fox' “American Idol” ranked second. “SNF” was also the top-ranked primetime program for the TV season in Nielsen household rating, as well as among all key adult and male demos (NFL). "SNF" also ranked No. 4 overall in primetime among women 18-49, behind only NBC's "The Voice" and Fox' two nights of "American Idol." Among women 18-34, "SNF" ranked third, behind "The Voice" and the Wednesday airing of "American Idol" (THE DAILY). ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's James Hibbard noted NBC for the season“officially ranks third among the Big Four networks among the key adults 18-49 demographic.” ABC slipped to fourth, with NBC “having edged out its rival by a mere tenth of a rating point.” NBC benefited from “SNF” as well as “airing the season’s highest-rated special event," Super Bowl XLVI. The Super Bowl alone is “worth at least a tenth of a rating point on a network’s season average.” ABC points out that "if it wasn’t for the Super Bowl, the network would have firmly beaten NBC.” Since NBC is not airing the Super Bowl next year, the “question is whether the network can sustain this season’s overall gain without the support of the big game” (EW.com, 5/24).

TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
DURING '11-12 TV SEASON
RANK
NET
PROGRAM
VIEWERS (000)
1
NBC
"Sunday Night Football"*
20,900
2
Fox
"American Idol" (Wed.)
18,000
3
CBS
"NCIS"
17,300
4
ABC
"Dancing With The Stars"
17,200
5
Fox
"American Idol" (Thurs.)
16,500

NOTE: Figure does not include "SNF" games airing before start of TV season on Sept. 19

MOST-VIEWED PRIMETIME PROGRAMS AMONG WOMEN 18-34
DURING '11-12 TV SEASON
RANK
NET
PROGRAM
1
NBC
"The Voice"
2
Fox
"American Idol" (Thurs.)
3
NBC
"Sunday Night Football"

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Media, NBC, NFL

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