NBC Delivers Its Most Competitive TV Season and May Sweep in Nine Years
Universal City, CA
Anchored by hit shows such as The Voice, as well as breakout dramas Revolution and Chicago Fire (pictured), NBC is closing out the traditional 2012-13 primetime TV season running within a tenth of a rating point of second place in adults 18-49, NBC’s most competitive position at the end of a season in nine years.
With results for the primetime week of May 13-19 bringing the networks within three days of the season’s conclusion, NBC is running a tenth of a point behind No. 2 Fox, a dramatic improvement versus one year ago, when, even with the boost of the Super Bowl, NBC trailed then-No. 1 Fox by 0.7 of a point and No. 2 CBS by 0.5 of a point.
Excluding Olympic years, this is the first time since the 2005-06 season that a network has followed up a Super Bowl season with an 18-49 decline of just 0.1 of a rating point. NBC also finished down just a tenth during the 2009-10 season, the year after carrying the Super Bowl, but had Olympic help that season. Every other network that’s carried a Super Bowl over the last seven years has declined the following season by at least 0.3 of a rating point the following season. In 2005-06, Fox broke even the year after carrying the Super Bowl and is the last network to do so.
NBC is No. 3 for the 2012-13 season and ahead of ABC outright for the first time in the nine years since NBC won the 2003-04 season. NBC tied ABC for No. 3 last season with help from the Super Bowl (rounding to a tie in "live plus seven day" ratings after edging ABC in initial "most current" results) and NBC also tied ABC for #3 during 2009-10 season with Olympic help. Note that this year, NBC is cleanly rating ahead of ABC with no Super Bowl or Olympic boost.
In the nine years since NBC won the 2003-04 season, the closest NBC had come to No. 2 before this season was five years ago, when the network finished 0.2 of a point behind the second-place tie of ABC and CBS during the strike season of 2007-08 (with a 2.8 vs. a 3.0 for ABC and CBS). Excluding the strike season, NBC hasn’t finished closer than 0.4 of a point to second place over the last nine seasons.