In addition to winning bragging rights by finishing No. 1 in demo ratings for the season for the first time in 10 years, NBC is also leading the broadcast networks where it really counts.
The Peacock network is tops in C3 ratings among 18 to 49 year olds—the measure of live and delayed viewing of commercials that is the basis for most advertising sales.
It takes a couple of extra weeks for Nielsen to calculate C3 because it must separate out the commercial pods and add in three days worth of delayed viewing. But so far this season, NBC had a solid lead and is up substantially from last year, while its rivals are all down.
Through May 5, NBC is averaging 3.23 million commercial impressions among adults 18 to 49, up 17.2% from a year ago, a figure helped by the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia. NBC will be looking to monetize those extra ratings points during the upfront, while the other networks deal with having less inventory to sell.
Fox is second in C3, with 2.36 million impressions, but was still down 12.2%, partly because of the continuing decline of American Idol. CBS is running third at 2.34 million impressions, down 12.1% from last year. ABC is in fourth place with 2.15 million impressions, but is down only 5.5%.