February is known as sweeps month—a time when ratings are traditionally important to networks, as they help determine local ad rates. Knowing this, networks go above and beyond to feature their best products in the hopes of gaining the most viewers and ultimately leading to increased ad sales. Which makes NBC’s 5th place showing behind Univision in February extra dramatic.
For the first time ever, Spanish speaking Univision (1.5) ranked in the top four networks edging out NBC (1.2). Even more frustrating for the network is that this news is coming off of one of their best fall seasons in recent history. But its newest batch of shows (“Do No Harm”, “1600 Penn” and “Deception”) have all done very poorly. Univision’s rankings saw a spike in February due to the untimely death of Latin superstar Jenni Rivera and the increase in viewership among telenovelas.
CBS (4.9) had its best February in 15 years. The Super Bowl was a huge success for CBS, but it should be noted that it rotates between the other three networks so should not be viewed as the sole reason for their success. CBS has been killing it with new shows as well as hugely successful sitcoms. “How I Met Your Mother”, “Two and a Half Men,” and “The Big Bang Theory” all have extremely wide audiences. The latter of the three leads the pack with an unfathomable 4 of top 10 ratings for the month of February.
10 years ago it would have been impossible to imagine a Spanish language channel to outperform NBC, but times have changed. With an increasing Latino population Univision will continue to be a power in basic network ratings.
Below are the top 10 grossing shows of February.
1. SUPER BOWL XLVII 39.7/77
2. SUPER BOWL XLVII-DELAY 38.9/73
3. SUPER BOWL XLVII PST-GAME 25.1 /55
4. THE OSCARS 13.0/31
5. GRAMMY AWARDS 10.1/25
6. OSCARS RED CARPET 7.3/20
7. THE BIG BANG THEORY 6.2/18
8. THE BIG BANG THEORY 5.6/17
9. THE BIG BANG THEORY 5.5/18
10. THE BIG BANG THEORY 5.4/16
Note: The Neilson Ratings used above are for the 19-49 range as deemed most important to ad revenue and sales.