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This Week's TV Ratings and Where We Go From Here

Classic TV Brands Stand the Test of Time: SNL, Survivor, 60 Minutes & NFL Sunday


October 18th, 2023 - by Mitch Metcalf

This week, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE premiered its 49th season on NBC Saturday October 14, 2023, with Pete Davidson hosting, Ice Spice as the musical guest, and surprise cameos from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. The show remains extremely relevant, particularly with adults under 50, who are still the desired target for most advertisers.

  • With Adults 18-49, SNL was the #1 show out of 24,607 non-sports telecasts on broadcast and cable television during the week of October 9-15, 2023, a comfortable 14% ahead of the #2 show that week with 18–49-year-olds (Survivor on CBS on Tuesday October 11 at 8:00pm).

  • Compared to last year, the SNL premiere on Saturday delivered +31% more adults 18-49 than last season’s premiere (hosted by Miles Teller with Kendrick Lamar on October 1, 2022).

  • SURVIVOR also is enjoying a resurgent season, up about +10% from last year.


Broadcast News: Still a Force Especially in Times of Crisis


When we look at viewers of all ages (adding viewers 50 and over and viewers under 18), the top three non-sports telecasts that week among Persons 2+ came from the world of broadcast news:

  • #1 was ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT on Tuesday October 10

  • #2 was ABC WNT on Thursday October 12

  • #3 was CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday October 15 at 7:00pm.


Sports: The Great Aggregator


If we include the roughly two thousand sports telecasts on cable and broadcast that week, SNL ranks #20 out of 26,968 telecasts that week with adults 18-49 and Survivor ranks #29. The rest of the all-program top 30 is a mixture of NFL games, college football games and a few of the postseason MLB games on FOX and TBS. At the very top of the heap is the crown jewel of television: NFL Sunday. The top five telecasts of the week were the same with both adults 18-49 and persons 2+:

  • #1 FOX NFL SUNDAY NATIONAL at 4:32pm (Eagles at Jets in most of the country)

  • #2 NBC NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL at 8:23pm (Giants at Bills)

  • #3 FOX THE OT postgame show at 7:42pm

  • #4 FOX NFL SUNDAY REGIONAL at 1:03pm (49ers at Browns in most of the country)

  • #5 CBS NFL SINGLE at 1:03pm (a mix of five regional games).


Where Do We Go From Here?


Of course, these linear TV success stories are not typical. The vast majority of linear TV programs and networks are down a lot from prior years. The migration from linear TV to streaming continues. But streaming will not simply replace linear television.

  • Rather, television is going to evolve and shape-shift into some combination of the future and the past delivery systems.

  • The common denominator will be viewers and their entertainment and information needs. Those fundamental needs to laugh, cry, learn, cheer, engage, or just escape remain the same depending on a viewer’s mood.

  • The programs to satisfy those needs will continue to evolve slowly, while the real change will be found in how the programs are delivered to viewers and how they are paid for, especially as advertising finds its way into streaming.

Keep coming back to this space for coverage of these exciting times in our business. If you find this post of interest, we encourage you to share the post on other social channels. If you want to be notified when there is a new post, please subscribe to join our mailing list.



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