May 21 Broadcast network CBS said on Tuesday it
won this season's ratings race among the 18-to-49 age group most
prized by advertisers, claiming its first victory in that
audience in 21 years.
CBS, a unit of CBS Corp, snatched the title from
News Corp-owned Fox, which had dominated the age group
for eight straight years until it was hurt this season by a
ratings slump for singing competition "American Idol."
CBS rode hits like "The Big Bang Theory" and "2 Broke Girls"
and was helped by February's Super Bowl broadcast, which
attracted the biggest TV audience of the year. Even without the
big game, CBS said it would have been first in the key age
The network drew an average of 3.7 million prime time
viewers ages 18 to 49, according to Nielsen ratings data through
May 19. Although three nights remain in the season, results are
unlikely to change significantly.
According to Nielsen, Fox finished second with 3.2 million in
the key audience group, followed by Comcast-owned NBC
with 3.0 million and Walt Disney Co's ABC with 2.8
All of the networks lost viewers among 18-49 year old
demographic, with CBS declining by 3.6 percent, as broadcasters
fought competition from cable channels and streaming services
like Netflix as well as delayed and mobile viewing that
Nielsen does not fully measure.
CBS also dominated ratings based on overall viewers for the
10th time in 11 years, the network said. Total viewers rose 1
percent to 11.9 million, followed by ABC with 7.9 million, Fox
with 7.0 million and NBC with 6.96 million.