NBC CAN’T GET PRIME TIME RIGHT, BUT SHINES ELSEWHERE

Report Finds NBC Wins Key Demos in Most Other Dayparts

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- While ABC and CBS are engaged in a neck-and-neck battle for the 18-to-49 prime-time ratings crown, the dayparts outside of prime paint a very different picture, according to Magna Global analysis of Nielsen Media Research.

The Magna report, which breaks out early morning, daytime, evening news and late night, finds better news for the beleaguered NBC when you look outside of prime time. The network still holds the lead in several key demos: adults 25-to-54 for early morning news and evening news; adults 18-to-49 in late night; and women 18-to-49 in daytime.

Early morning, NBC’s “Today” has maintained its lead over ABC’s “Good Morning America” -- though Magna points out that “GMA” is gaining momentum, posting season-to-date ratings gains across the board: adults 25-to-54 are up 11%, and women 18-to-49 are up 16%, when compared to last year. CBS’s “Early Show” continues to be troubled, dropping 4% in total households and 14% in adults 25-to-54.

Over the weekend, ABC’s “Good Morning America” has posted significant gains in adults 25-to-54, up 57% on Saturday and 33% on Sunday. Still, it trails NBC’s Saturday and Sunday versions of “Today” and CBS’s “Sunday Morning.”

The report finds daytime TV usage for the three broadcast networks down 17% for adults 18-to-49 season-to-date versus a year ago. Among households, usage has dropped 7%. NBC has the most adult and women 18-to-49 viewers, largely due to “Days of Our Lives,” which remains the top soap among adults and women 18-to-34. NBC’s soaps are the youngest skewing, while CBS’s are the oldest. Among women 25-54, CBS and ABC have the top six programs.

The early evening news programs, despite major changes to their anchor desks over the past year, haven’t shifted in rank. “NBC Nightly News” remains the top-rated program in all demos, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight” and “CBS Evening News.” In the early evening news daypart, ad-supported cable has increased its household share by 3%, though its adult 25-to-54 share has dropped 2%. In a ratings presentation earlier in the week, Turner’s research chief Jack Wakschlag pointed out that cable has grown its overall share of TV news viewing to nearly 60%.

Late-night TV viewing is up versus the same period last year among households, men 18-34, adults 18-49 and 25-to-54 -- although the broadcast networks aren’t reaping the benefit of the time spent viewing. The three broadcast networks average rating is down 6% season-to-date and ad-supported cable is up 5%.

All the broadcast networks were either flat or down in late-night households and every adult demo. “Saturday Night Live” remains the top-rated late-night show, with “The Tonight Show” ranking second. Turner’s Mr. Wakschlag attributed much of the increase in cable’s late-night viewing to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block. In men 18-to-49, Adult Swim outdelivered ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” CBS’s “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Adult Swim airs Monday through Thursday 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Sundays 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Among men 18-to-49, Magna notes that ESPN places higher than Adult Swim with a 0.71 rating vs. a 0.59 rating.

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