/// CBS Wins Prime-Time Ratings Crown

May 22, 2013  |  Media Week

After passing NBC in the ratings race back in early February, CBS never looked back, cruising to an easy win among total viewers and the two major demographics. Per Nielsen, CBS will close out the 2012-13 broadcast TV season with an average prime-time delivery of 11.9 million viewers per night. The network beat runner-up ABC by 4 million viewers, giving it the largest margin of victory in 24 years. CBS also cleaned up in the dollar demos, averaging a 2.9 among adults 18-49 and a 3.8 with the 25-54 set. This marks the first time in 21 years that the Tiffany Network has emerged victorious in the 18-49 race. With 34 weeks of ratings data on the books (tonight marks the official end of the 2012-13 campaign), each of the five English-language broadcasters is down versus the year-ago period. Thanks to the Super Bowl and a robust lineup of hits like NCIS, The Big Bang Theory and Elementary, CBS dipped just 3 percent in the 18-49 demo. Things were dicier at Fox, which dropped 22 percent to a 2.5 rating, snapping its eight-year winning streak. After getting off to a hot start in the fall, NBC cratered in the absence of Sunday Night Football and The Voice —the show went on a three-month hiatus from Dec. 18-March 25—and fell out of the running for good on week 19. The Peacock concludes the season with a 2.4 in the demo, down 4 percent versus 2011-12. ABC again finished last among the Big Four, averaging a 2.2 in the demo, a decline of 12 percent. The CW’s 18-49 ratings (0.7, down 13 percent) are effectively irrelevant, given that the network guarantees deliveries of women 18-34 and adults 18-34. The Spanish-language broadcaster Univision was the only major network that did not lose ground, averaging a 1.5 in the demo—flat versus last season. Along with the ratings erosion, the networks all aged up to varying degrees. CBS remains the oldest net, reaching a median age of 56.2 years, up from the year-ago 55.6

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CBS Wins Prime-Time Ratings Crown

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