NBC Wins Third Straight 52-Week TV Season — Even Without Rio Ratings

CBS still takes the 12 months in total viewers, however

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Trae Patton/NBC

NBC has officially won another 52-week season in TV ratings for the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic — and the impressive claim would stand even if one removed its big Rio Summer Olympics ratings boost.

Ignoring those few August weeks of automatic and comfortable competition wins, NBC still tops the older-skewing CBS in the main demo, with a 1.97 versus a 1.86. Of course, we don’t really have to do that at all. NBC pays handsomely for those rights, it has earned the Nielsen numbers that come with them.

Below are the actual standings, including the Brazilian primetime performances. Unless otherwise noted, all data is through 51 weeks and comes from Nielsen’s “most current” metric, which includes a week’s worth of delayed viewing where available.
NBC: 2.21
CBS: 1.86
ABC: 1.73
Fox: 1.57

CBS, which won the traditional September-May television season outright, is still king of total viewers through these 365 days — having Super Bowl 50 sure helped its efforts, of course.

Here are those rankings:
CBS: 9.1 million
NBC: 8.4 million
ABC: 6.4 million
Fox: 4.8 million

Two years ago, NBC publicly announced that it would only be focusing on September-to-September runs from then on. With a strong regular summer lineup bolstered by “America’s Got Talent” and “American Ninja Warrior” — and either a winter or summer Olympics every two years — it’s not hard to understand why.

By the way, the “Sunday Night Football” home would still win its preferred timetable among those 18-49 in entertainment-only programming, which doesn’t count sports. So get that excuse out of your head.

Per Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day ratings, which is what TheWrap reports daily, NBC ended up winning 30 of the measured weeks (including three ties). CBS, Fox and ABC all combined to win just 28 weeks (including 10 ties).

We’ll see if NBC can continue its impressive momentum when the new television season officially kicks off on Monday. Fox has the Super Bowl this year — a non-Olympic one — which makes it a bit less predictable and, thus, more up-for-grabs.