NBC was officially the most-watched network in America from 2020-21.
NBC won both the 52-week TV season in adults 18-49 and in total viewer figures for the first time since 2018, bolstered by favorable ratings for “Sunday Night Football,” “Saturday Night Live,” “This Is Us,” “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent.” In total viewers, NBC’s win totaled approximately 33.6 million more hours watched than any broadcast competitor from the start of the season to its culmination (Sunday, Sept. 19).
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“In an era with no shortage of viewing options, the reach and impact of broadcast television is still undeniable,” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement, “NBC remains a pillar of strength both within our portfolio as well as the larger television landscape, and we’re excited about the future as we continue to grow and connect our TV and streaming business.”
Per Nielsen’s data, the primetime averages throughout the TV season for the Big Four networks in the key, ages 18-49 demographic tied ABC and CBS together with a 0.8 rating, Fox with a 0.9, and NBC up top with a 1.0. In terms of total viewers, NBC teetered over CBS with 5.290 million (versus 5.260 million). ABC ended up with 4.307 million, while Fox placed last with 3.558 million.
“The distinction of Most Watched Network is a testament to the depth and quality of our programming, which continues to consistently deliver many of television’s biggest hits, night after night and across all genres,” added Susan Rovner, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming’s Chairman of Entertainment Content. “NBC is honored to be in the top position with viewers and we plan to ride this momentum into the next 52 weeks with one of our most dynamic programming lineups to date.”
“Sunday Night Football” landed at the top of primetime for the 10th consecutive year in the key demo, “This Is Us” was the No. 1 drama in 18-49 for the fifth year in a row and “America’s Got Talent” has been the most-watched summer unscripted program for the past 16 seasons. “Saturday Night Live” scored the No. 1 entertainment program rank for the first time ever. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” was this summer’s top late-night show in 18-49, winning over “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
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