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NBC Pulls Out Ahead of CBS in Y-to-Y Ratings Growth

NEW YORK: NBC edged out CBS in year-over-year, prime-time ratings growth for the week of May 17, 2009. NBC’s average household rating for the period was up 4 percent over least year, while CBS was flat. ABC was down 11 percent; Fox, 4 percent. Season-to-date, CBS is holding steady at 8 percent growth; ABC is down 6 percent; Fox is down 15 percent; NBC, down 9 percent.

Among cable nets, BET continued to show the biggest increase over last year, with a 66 percent jump for the week in prime time. Season-to-date for people two and older, BET was up 13 percent. Fox News Channel continued to hold the top in season-to-date prime time among cable nets, 47 percent.

Wachovia’s ad market update: “The upfronts this week have included few surprises. Fox will likely try to leverage its No. 1 ranking in the 18-49 demo for the fifth consecutive year. While the market seems modestly more bullish around the upfront, our view is unchanged and it will be several weeks before we have more clarity.”

Wachovia’s report tracks the weekly (ending May 17) and season-to-date (STD), year-to-year change in average households data for broadcast (live plus same day) and audience data for cable nets (live plus same day): STD is prime time (PT) unless otherwise noted, e.g., Food and HGTV.

-- Disney(ABC): Prime-time average household (HH) rating was -11 percent for total HHs and -11 percent for P18-49. STD avg. audience was -6 percent for both.

-- CBS (CBS): PT avg. HH rating was flat for total HHs and -8 percent for P18-49. STD avg. audience was +8 percent and +4 percent, respectively.

-- News Corp.: (Fox): PT avg. HH rating was -4 percent for total HHs and -4 percent for P18-49. STD avg. audience was -15 percent and -18 percent, respectively.

-- GE (NBC): PT avg. HH rating was +4 percent for total HHs and +10 percent for P18-49. STD avg. audience was -9 percent and -3 percent, respectively.

-- Viacom:
BET PT avg. audience was +66 percent for P2+ and +112 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +13 percent for P2+ and +16 percent for P25-54.
Comedy Central PT avg. audience was -8 percent for P2+ and -7 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +2 percent and -2 percent, respectively.
MTV PT avg. audience was -26 percent for P2+ and -14 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was -24 percent and -16 percent, respectively.
VH1 PT avg. audience was +13 percent for P2+ and +16 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was -6 percent and -3 percent, respectively.
Nickelodeon PT avg. audience was +47 percent for P2+ and +40 percent for P2-11. STD avg. audience was +8 percent for both.

-- Discovery:
Discovery Channel PT avg. audience was +2 percent for P2+ and +2 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +5 percent and +6 percent, respectively.
The Learning Channel PT avg. audience was -10 percent for P2+ and -13 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +4 percent and -3 percent, respectively.
Animal Planet PT avg. audience was +26 percent for P2+ and +38 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +7 percent and +13 percent, respectively.

-- Scripps:
HGTV PT avg. audience was +3 percent for P2+ and -7 percent for P25-54. STD PT avg. audience was +1 percent and -2 percent, respectively. STD total day avg. audience was -3 percent for P2+ and -2 percent for P25-54.
Food Network PT avg. audience was +28 percent for P2+ and +31 percent for P25-54. STD PT avg. audience was +15 percent for P2+ and P25-54. STD total day avg. audience is +8 percent for P2+ and +7 percent for P25-54.

-- Disney:
ESPN PT avg. audience was +10 percent for P2+ and +14 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was flat for both demos.
Disney Channel PT avg. audience was +5 percent for P2+ and +11 percent for P2-11. STD avg. audience was -9 percent P2+ and -8 percent for P2-11.

-- News Corp.:
Fox News Channel PT avg. audience was +12 percent for P2+ and +21 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +47 percent and +52 percent respectively.
F/X PT avg. audience was +19 percent for P2+ and +30 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +2 percent for P2+ and P25-54.
National Geographic PT avg. audience was -2 percent for P2+ and -2 percent for P25-54. STD avg. audience was +12 percent and +9 percent, respectively.