In case you missed the news in a frenzy of turkey coma, the Peacock network shocked even itself by winning the November sweeps ratings period, which ended on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Though ratings are now measured year-round in major markets across the country, the traditional sweeps months are periods during which diaries are sent out to families in all television markets to measure as many viewing patterns as possible. These sweeps months then give advertisers a better picture of what people are watching.
The network’s entertainment chairman, Bob Greenblatt, told reporters, “the fact that we jumped from fourth [place] to first, and haven’t been in this position in nine years, is really astonishing to all of us.”
NBC managed to score first place in the Adults 18-49 demographic, which is regarded as the “key demo” because in most cases, that’s the primary demo advertisers are interested in reaching. CBS, meanwhile, led among total viewers.
There’s always more than one way to spin ratings numbers. I’m reminded of a competitor years ago that touted that its newscast was the “fastest growing” in the market because, despite being a distant third place behind us, its ratings had shot up from about a 1.0 to a 2.0. That’s 100% growth, and it truly was a higher percentage increase than the number two station, which went from something like a 6.5 to a 7.0 or so. (I don’t recall the exact numbers, mind you, but you get the idea.)
NBC had The Voice as well as NFL games going for it this quarter. However, it is not anticipating a first-place finish for the rest of the season. The news, incidentally, isn’t all that great across the board at NBC; ABC’s Good Morning America won November sweeps, another punch in the face for NBC’s Today. And it’s Rock Center with Bryan Williams is still struggling to find its audience with a recent move to Fridays at 10pm.
Have you been watching more of NBC in the past couple of months? Do you find yourself watching more or less network television these days?