The winner, and still champion, is CBS.
The Tiffany Network ended the traditional television season, which ended last week, as the most-watched broadcaster for the 12th consecutive year, the Nielsen company said.
CBS USA: VIACA
United States: VIAC
has won 17 of the past 18 years, with the only exception coming when Fox topped the chart at “American Idol.”
CBS won for so long that the distinction lost much of the meaning it had at the start of the sequence. Broadcast networks no longer dominate the TV landscape like they once did, and with streaming and cable networks a big part of the mix, TV no longer effectively turns off the lights in the summer like it once did.
Nielsen’s ranking also does not reflect the streaming viewership of given programs outside of a seven-day window in which they first aired.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” ranks as the most-watched regular program of the year in the fall when sports were on TV. “NCIS” was the most popular scripted series for the first time since the 2012-13 season, with “Young Sheldon” as the highest-rated comedy.
Three of the four major networks have lost viewership compared to last season, which is not unusual in this era of burgeoning entertainment choices.
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CBS averaged 7.58 million prime-time viewers, down 15% from last season, Nielsen said. NBC, second, averaged 6.5 million viewers, down 10% from last year and ABC, fourth, 5.4 million, down 4%.
Fox was up 17% to 6.3 million, mostly because the network had a set of NFL games on Thursday nights in the fall that it didn’t have the previous season. Fox’s ratings were also boosted by the Super Bowl broadcast in February.
Heading into a calmer summer, CBS won in prime time last week, averaging 4.1 million viewers. NBC was second with 3.6 million viewers, Fox FOX,
had 2.88 million and ABC had 2.85 million. Univision had 1.5 million viewers, ION Television had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 810,000, and The CW had 680,000.
Fox News Channel led the cable networks, averaging 3 million prime-time viewers. MSNBC had 1.8 million, CNN had 1.35 million, TLC had 1.25 million, and HGTV had 1.21 million.
“World News Tonight” topped the evening news, averaging 9.6 million viewers last week. CMCSA of the BNC,
“Nightly News” had 8.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.8 million.