NBC overtakes CBS in US ratings

NBC has overtaken CBS in US television ratings – topping the leader board for the first time since 2002.

Boosted by the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and This Is Us, NBC is up 7% compared to last season, averaging 9.56 million viewers.

CBS is averaging 9.38 million, according to Nielsen.

In the all-important 18-49 demo, NBC holds a daunting 39 percent lead over its closest competitor.

“Only five years ago we were still fourth place in total viewers after having regained the 18-49 demo crown in 2014, a level we’ve maintained for the past four full seasons,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “This is an achievement that reflects NBC’s strength as a true broadcaster, delivering mega-events like Sunday Night Football, the Super Bowl and Olympics, along with the some of the highest-rated scripted and unscripted programming on television such as This Is Us, Will & Grace, The Voice, America’s Got Talent.”

The last time NBC had a Super Bowl and Olympics in the same season was in 2011-12, but it still finished No. 2 in viewers.

The last time NBC was the most-watched network in America, Friends was averaging 24.5 million viewers, joined by hit shows ER and The West Wing.

Season-to-Date Averages (and 2016-17 comparisons)

Total Viewers
1. NBC — 9.569 million (up 7 percent)
2. CBS — 9.385 million (down 8 percent)
3. ABC — 5.911 million (down 7 percent)
4. Fox* — 5.892 million (down 19 percent)

Adult 18-49 Rating
1. NBC — 2.47 (up 2 percent)
2. Fox — 1.77 (down 24 percent)
3. CBS — 1.66 (down 15 percent)
4. ABC — 1.45 (down 12 percent)

*Fox aired the Super Bowl in 2017, a significant factor in its YOY drops

Source: Variety, Hollywood Reporter


  1. I’m not surprised. They’ve had quite the line up recently compared to the other networks. I’m pretty surprised with FOX’s dip in the demos though.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.