/// Grey Gardens: Broadcast Audience Older Than Ever

October 10, 2012  |  Media Week

If the low turnout for the new fall TV series weren’t reason enough to start gobbling SSRIs, the early median-age data could find all but the sturdiest broadcast executives scrambling for their Zoloft. Through the first two weeks of the 2012-13 campaign, three of the Big Four broadcast nets are facing ratings declines of 19 percent or more. And those viewers who are tuning in are members in good standing of the get-off-my-lawn demographic. On the ratings front, CBS has absorbed the most significant declines among adults 18-to-49, dropping 25 percent to a 2.4, down from the 3.2 average it posted in the first two weeks of last season. Fox fell 23 percent to a 2.4, while ABC is down 19 percent to a last-place 2.1. Only NBC has posted ratings gains. The decision to shift The Voice to the fall appears to have been the right move, as NBC is now the No. 1 network in the dollar demo (2.8, up 12 percent versus the year-ago interval). This marks the first time since fall 2003 that NBC has been the frontrunner in the ratings race for the two lead-off weeks. NBC is also bucking the aging trend. Per Nielsen, the Peacock is currently serving a median age of 47.8 years, down 2 percent versus the first two weeks of 2011-12. Already the oldest-skewing broadcast net, CBS has aged up two-and-a-half years with a median age of 57.8, while ABC has added nearly two years to its median age (55.3, up from 53.4).

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Grey Gardens: Broadcast Audience Older Than Ever

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