While the Big Four English-language broadcast networks
continue to struggle on Friday nights in their efforts to draw younger viewers,
Spanish-language network Univision is not only winning the ratings battle in
the 18-34 demo, but is also making more inroads in the advertiser-desired 18-49
Early February sweeps -- with all networks airing new episodes
of their programming -- offers a telling Friday night picture. Granted, it's only
one night, but a look at the Nielsen primetime ratings for Feb. 3 reveals
interesting data for media buyers and planners to consider, and watch more
closely as sweeps continues:
- Yes, Friday's not a big TV night, but ABC, CBS and NBC
combined on Feb. 3 to draw 20.2 million viewers on the night, 2.6 million more
than they drew two nights earlier on higher Households Using Television (HUT)-level
Wednesday night. And each of those networks individually drew more viewers
within that total-CBS 1.9 million more, ABC 500,000 more and NBC 200,000
more. Why did they all fare better Friday than Wednesday? Because they did
not have to compete against American Idol.
- Univision won that night among adults 18-34 overall, although
it did not win the 8-9 p.m. hour in the demo. Fox's Kitchen Nightmares recorded a 1.2 in the demo and ABC's Shark Tank a 1.1 to beat the Univision
novela ElTalismán, which did a 1.0. But
Univision novelas easily won the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. battle in the demo. At 9
p.m., La Que No Podía Amar recorded a 1.6 and at 10
p.m., Rosa de Guadalupe recorded a
- That Friday night drew a high number of 50-plus viewers, most
of them to CBS shows. On Feb. 3, CBS averaged an 8.0 rating among viewers
50-plus, compared to a 3.4 for second place NBC, a 3.0 for ABC and a 1.7 for
Fox. Univision averaged a 1.0.
- While CBS draws lot of older viewers, it also draws the
most viewers, and is tied for the highest-rated network on the night among
adults 18-49. CBS averaged 9.9 million viewers on Friday, Feb. 3, far
outdistancing second-place ABC with 5.2 million and NBC with 5.1 million. Fox lagged
behind with 3.5 million. Among 18-49 viewers, CBS was tied with NBC as the
highest-rated with an underwhelming 1.5, while Fox recorded a 1.4 and NBC was
tied with Univision with a 1.2 in the demo.
- Fox was the only network that had a higher primetime
rating among men 18-49 than it did for women 18-49, but it was mighty close:
1.3 to 1.2.
- The highest-rated show for the night among adults 50-plus
was the CBS drama Blue Bloods with a
9.0 in that demo. There was a tie among lowest-rated shows in the 50-plus demo between
Fox's Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe, with both recording a 1.5.
- The highest-rated shows A18-49 that Friday were Blue Bloods and ABC's 20/20, each recording a 1.7. The
lowest-rated in that demo was Fringe
and NBC's show Who Do You Think You Are,
each drawing a 1.1.
- The highest-rated show among adults 18-34 was Kitchen Nightmares with a 1.2. The
lowest-rated was Who Do You Think You Are
and CBS drama The Gifted Man, each
pulling a 0.6.
- The show most-watched by teens on Friday night was Shark Tank with a paltry 0.8 in that
demo. Clearly, not many teens are watching TV on that night, but you would have
thought the NBC sci-fi drama Grimm
might have done better in this demo.
- And the most-watched show among total viewers was Blue Bloods (11.2 million), followed by
CBS drama CSI: NY (10.1 million) and The Gifted Man (8.4 million). The least-watched
show was Fox's Fringe (3.1 million).
Finally, while The CW was a non-factor in the competitive
picture, finishing sixth behind Univision in viewers and demos, one interesting
piece of data could be gleaned. While The CW's main target audience is women 18-34,
its two Friday night shows, Nikita
and Supernatural, combined to skew
almost equal among men and women in that demo. Among women 18-34 they recorded
a 0.5 rating and among men they scored a 0.4 rating.
The broadcast networks, to their credit, have tried to
revive Friday nights by putting on scripted programming instead of totally
abandoning it with all cheaper unscripted fair. But no matter what they do,
they can't force more people to stay home and watch. And while it still seems
evident that older people are watching in larger numbers on that night, younger
people are not watching quite as much -- unless it's Univision.