CBS is marking its 15th consecutive season as the most-watched broadcast network, with Fox claiming the 2022-23 season among adults 18-49. However, each of the seven major broadcasters lost some on-air audience amid the ongoing shift from linear to broadcast viewing.
CBS finished the season from September to May, which officially concluded on Wednesday night, with a primetime average of 5.96 million viewers. NBC finished in second place, some 700,000 viewers off the lead, with 5.27 million, followed by Fox (4.45 million) and ABC (4.14 million). Univision reached 1.28 million viewers, Telemundo 937,000 and The CW 548,000.
Fox led the key ad sales demographic of adults 18-49 with a 1.0 rating, equivalent to about 1.3 million people in that age range, thanks in large part to having the Super Bowl in February. NBC, last season’s leader in the show, finished in second place with a 0.9. CBS (0.7) edged out ABC (0.6) for third place. It was followed by Univision (0.4), Telemundo (0.3) and The CW (0.1).
According to Nielsen, overall primetime TV usage dropped by about 9 percent compared to the 2021-22 season. Three networks — ABC, CBS and Fox — came in below that: Fox posted the smallest decline, down 1 percent, while ABC fell just 2 percent and CBS lost about 5 percent. Telemundo fell 6 percent from last season, while NBC (-13 percent), Univision (-14 percent) and The CW (-17 percent) all fell by double digits.
NBC also had the biggest loss among adults 18-49, dropping three-tenths of a point season after season. That’s not much of a surprise, though, as the network had both the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics to boost its ratings in 2021-22. ABC, CBS, Fox and Univision lost a tenth of a point compared to last season, and Telemundo and The CW were flat.
nbc Sunday night football is once again the most-watched (18.09 million viewers) and highest-rated (4.83 rating among adults 18-49) show on broadcast television (not including broadcast). NCIS (9.87 million viewers over seven days, figures pending from its last two episodes) has the highest total audience of non-sports programs on the network, and Survivor (1.05 rating) leads all but the NFL in adults 18-49.