Broadcast Networks Finish Season Down Among Younger Viewers
English-language networks are down across-the-board in the ad-coveted 18-49 demographic while Spanish-language broadcaster Univision is up 8 percent.
Ratings for the 2010-11 season are in. And a week after network executives made their star-studded upfront sales presentations to advertisers in New York, the numbers show that they continue to shed the younger viewers those buyers will pay a premium to reach.
Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and CW are all down year-to-year in the 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen. And CW, which targets viewers, especially women, ages 18-34, is down in those demos as well.
Fox finished the season as the top-rated network averaging 4.5 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic for primetime (Mon.-Sun.). Despite a successful reboot of American Idol and this year's Super Bowl, Fox was down 5 percent in the demo year-to-year. CBS averaged 3.7 million viewers in the demo, down 9 percent. ABC dipped 8 percent, finishing the season with an average of 3.2 million viewers in the demo. And NBC, which had the Vancouver Olympics to boost its average for the 2009-10 season, was down the most falling 14 percent to an average of 3.0 million viewers 18-49.
CW ended the season down 9 percent in viewers 18-34 and 13 percent among women 18-34, while the net was down 5 percent among viewers 18-49.
Only Spanish-language broadcasters Univision and Telemundo showed growth compared to last season.
Univision finished the season averaging 1.9 million viewers in primetime among viewers 18-49, up 8 percent year-to-year. Telemundo is flat year-to-year in the demo for Monday-Sunday primetime. But for Monday-Friday (7-11 p.m.) the net is up 8 percent to 683,000.