CBS set to win February sweeps for first time since 1998, NBC falls behind Univision

By Daniel S Levine,

CBS is poised to come out on top in sweeps thanks to some of the biggest programs of the year.

Through Nielsen’s Feb. 24 data, CBS has averaged a 4.3 18-49 rating, the first time it has come out on top since 1998. It also averaged 15.46 million viewers, easily making it the most-watched network, a stat it has laid a claim to since 2008, notes The Hollywood Reporter.

The network can attribute its win to a number of successful programs. Not only did the station air the Super Bowl, but it also had the Grammys this month and its continued powerhouse The Big Bang Theory. In fact, four of CBS’ top rated programs were episodes of the sitcom starring Jim Parsons, reports Entertainment Weekly.

This year, the Super Bowl averaged a 39.7 18-49 rating with 108 million viewers. It helped CBS climb 52 percent over February 2012 in viewers and 35 percent in the demo.

ABC and Fox saw declines, coming in second and third, respectively. Their drops were nothing compared to NBC, which couldn’t even come ahead of Univision's 1.5 key demo rating this month. NBC only averaged a 1.2.

NBC’s decline is easy to explain. Since a wildly successful fall, which saw Sunday Night Football and The Voice help the network go from fourth to first, everything has been bad news. The NFL season is over, and The Voice is between seasons. Every mid-season show was a misfire, highlighted by Do No Harm, which was canned after two episodes. Smash bombed in its second season premiere. The network can hope for better performance when The Voice makes its return in March.

Here’s how the networks finished the month through Feb. 24:
CBS: 4.3 18-49 rating; 15.46 million viewers
ABC: 2.2 18-49 rating; 7.32 million
Fox: 2.0 18-49 rating; 6.1 million
NBC: 1.2 18-49 rating; 3.96 million

 
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