Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Ticks Up 2 Percent in Early Ratings

Two years ago, the march toward Herald Square hit a 13-year high in overnight Nielsen numbers

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Season 92
Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC

More people took time away from basting, brining and baking to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC Thursday than they did the previous Thanksgiving holiday, with the 92nd annual festivities rising 1.6 percent from last year in the earliest-available Nielsen ratings numbers.

Yesterday, the long walk through Manhattan averaged a 12.8 rating/28 share on NBC, per some very preliminary data out of the nation’s 56 metered-markets. Last year’s event posted a 12.6/27, down 7.4 percent from 2016’s march toward Herald Square, which had actually scored its top overnight rating in 13 years — a 13.5/29.

The 2018 parade put up a 6.9/34 among adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters. The year-ago’s version landed a 7.0, which makes yesterday’s Turkey Day event down ever so slightly in the age-range most beloved by advertisers.

Hosted by “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker, the parade’s household rating beat every program on broadcast television, excluding news and sports, since the Oscars back in early March.

After Santa Claus came to town, NBC’s “National Dog Show Presented by Purina” telecast rose year over year, according to the same overnight data stream.

The 2018 “National Dog Show” had a 6.1/14 in households and a 3.0/14 in the demo. Last year’s canine contest got a 6.0/14 and 3.1/3, respectively.

Later in the day, NBC dominated Thursday’s primetime with an Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints football game. That momentum maintained into late-night, when Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” hit its highest numbers in both metered-market households and the demo and since February.