Based on the first round of Nielsen’s C3 Ratings data (Commercial Ratings + 3 Day Playback) for the new television season, ABC beat its nearest competitor by 13% in Adults 18-49 (3.5 rating vs. 3.1 rating – NBC). ABC also ranked No. 1 in the C3 Ratings in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).
Program Rankings: ABC aired 5 of the Top 15 TV shows during premiere week in the C3 Adults 18-49 numbers, including the highest-rated program (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and 3 of the Top 5: “Grey’s Anatomy” – No. 1, “Desperate Housewives” – No. 3, “Dancing with the Stars” – No. 5, “Brothers & Sisters” – No. 12 and “DWTS SP-9/23” – No. 13.
Upscale Ratings: ABC swept the advertiser-prized upscale demographics in the C3 Ratings. Among Adults 18-49 in Households with $100K+ Annual Income, ABC (4.0) topped runner-up NBC by +5% (3.8), third-place CBS by +48% (2.7) and fourth-place Fox by +67% (2.4). ABC was also the definitive No. 1 network with C3 young adult ratings in 4 other key upscale categories: Households with $75K+ Annual Income, Head of House with 4+ Years of College, Home Owners, and Households with $100K+ Annual Income and 1+ Years of College.
A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 28% currently, from 20% at the same point in 2007. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.