What Are Men Watching Other Than Sports in Broadcast TV Primetime?
Men in the 18-34 and 18-49 demos watch less broadcast
primetime television than women and when you factor out primetime sports, the
disparity is even higher. But what entertainment programming are men watching,
and in what shows can marketers find the most male viewers?
Nielsen ratings data finds that through the first 10 weeks
of the season, in the male 18-34 demo, there is a tie for the top spot between
Fox's Family Guy and The Simpsons, each averaging a 4.1 rating,
while in the male 18-49 demo, the highest rated series is CBS' The Big Bang
Theory with a 4.4. And yes, while the viewer numbers are small, men 18-24
are indeed watching broadcast primetime entertainment shows with the highest
rated in that demo also being Fox's Family Guy with a 4.0.
Overall, Fox's Sunday animation block has four of the top 10
highest rated shows among men 18-34. After Family Guy and The
Simpsons, the next highest rated series is Fox's animated American Dad
with a 3.3 rating, followed by ABC's Modern Family and CBS' The
Big Bang Theory, each with
a 3.1. Next are Fox animated series Bob's Burgers (2.9) and The Cleveland Show (2.7). Rounding out
the top 10 are NBC's Monday edition of The Voice with a 2.6, and CBS
sitcoms How I Met Your Mother with a 2.5 and Two and a Half Men
with a 2.2. Just missing the top 10 list are the Wednesday edition of Fox's The
X Factor with a 2.1 and Fox sitcom New Girl with a 2.0.
Among men 18-49, in second place behind The Big Bang
Theory is ABC sitcom Modern Family with a 4.0 rating. The
Simpsons is next with a 3.9, followed closely by Family
Guy with a 3.7. Then comes CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men with a 3.3,
followed by CBS drama NCIS and
the Monday edition of The Voice with a 3.2, while The Voice on Tuesday is averaging a 2.9.
Rounding out the top 10 are CBS' 60 Minutes and How I Met Your
Mother, each with a 2.8. A bunch of shows are tied right after that
including: Fox's American Dad, NBC freshman drama Revolution,
CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls and CBS dramas NCIS: Los Angeles and Person
of Interest, each with a 2.7 rating among men 18-49.
Among men 18-24, the Fox Sunday animation block is the
primary focus of weekly viewership, taking up the top five spots on the list. Right
behind Family Guy (with a 4.0 rating in the demo) is American Dad
with a 3.9, followed by The Simpsons with a 3.4, and a tie between Bob's
Burgers and The Cleveland Show, each with a 2.6
rating. There is a pretty good drop-off to the next highest rated series which
is Big Bang with a 2.0. Next are Two
and a Half Men and Modern Family, each averaging a 1.9. Rounding out
the top 10 are How I Met Your Mother with a 1.8, and surprisingly, CBS' 60
Minutes, which has a median age audience of about 60.
The most watched CW show among men in all three demo groups
is freshman drama Arrow, which has a
1.0 rating among men 18-24 and 18-34 and a 1.3 rating among men 18-49. However,
the male viewer totals are tiny. The CW is averaging only 58,000 viewers among
men 18-24, 136,000 male viewers 18-34 and 282,000 men 18-49.
ABC is averaging 129,000 male viewers 18-24, 430,000 men
18-34 and 1.1 million male viewers 18-49. That compares to 190,000 female
viewers 18-24, 635,000 female viewers 18-34 and 1.6 million female viewers
CBS is averaging 125,000 male viewers 18-24, 407,000 men
18-34 and 1.2 million male viewers 18-49. That compares to 156,000 female
viewers 18-24, 513,000 female viewers 18-34 and 1.6 million female viewers
Fox is averaging 207,000 male viewers 18-24, 632,000 men
18-34 and 1.3 million male viewers 18-49. That compares to 207,000 female
viewers 18-24, 618,000 female viewers 18-34 and 1.2 million female viewers
18-49. The Fox male numbers may be slightly skewed because it televises
Saturday night college football.
The NBC numbers are higher across the board because of the
inclusion of its Sunday Night Football
telecasts, which significantly boost its viewership of all demo groups,
including women. MBPT did not get a separate overall breakout of entertainment
programming viewership minus the football telecasts. However, outside of
football, NBC does not draw huge amounts of men to its entertainment
Looking at individual numbers, following its two
highest-rated male shows in the 18-34 demo -- two episodes of The Voice
-- the next highest rated are sitcom The Office and freshman drama Revolution
with a 1.9. Next is sitcom Parks and Recreation with a 1.7.
Freshman sitcom The New Normal and freshman drama Chicago Fire
are the only other shows to average a 1.0 rating in the demo. The rest fall
below that mark.
Behind The Voice and Revolution, NBC's
most-watched shows among men 18-49 are The
Office with a 2.0, freshman sitcom Go On with a 1.8, Parks and
Recreation with a 1.6 and new drama Chicago Fire with a 1.4.
Other than Modern
Family, ABC also doesn't have many series that men 18-34 or men 18-49 are
flocking to. The second most watched ABC show among men 18-34 behind Modern
Family is drama Once Upon a Time with a 1.9, after which comes Grey's
Anatomy with a 1.6 and sitcoms Suburgatory and The Middle,
each with a 1.4.
Among ABC male viewers 18-49, again behind Modern Family
are Once Upon a Time with a 2.2, The Middle with a 2.1,
Suburgatory and Grey's with a 1.9 each and Shark Tank with a
Beyond its Sunday animation block, The X Factor
and New Girl, the most watched Fox shows among men 18-34 are Bones
with a 1.5 rating, and Glee, The Mindy Project and Raising Hope, each
with a 1.3. Among men 18-49, top rated Fox shows behind the animated series, The
X Factor and New Girl are Bones with a 1.8 and Glee and
Raising Hope with a 1.5.
While marketers can reach men in the 18-34 and 18-49 demos
on broadcast, other than the Fox animated shows, the targets outside of sports
for marketers are few and far between, with many saying cable is a better
Brad Adgate, senior VP of research at Horizon Media says, "Outside
of the Fox animation Sunday night block, I wouldn't use broadcast prime to
reach young males. Even late-night broadcast shows now have a median age above
50. It seems like it would be more effective to target using cable networks
like History, FX, Comedy Central, Discovery, AMC and Spike, among others."
Billie Gold, VP, director of buying/programming
research at Carat agrees. "Advertisers have never really bought scripted
broadcast prime with the exception of Fox's animated block to reach men outside
of sports," Gold says. "It has always been value added when marketers reach men
through their regular broadcast buys. That's why live sports pricing is so high
because it does reach those hard-to-find men. Cable networks like History,
Discovery and A&E are full of testosterone-laden programming."