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February 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It now appears virtually certain that NBC will close out the month of February — a sweeps month — in fifth place, falling even behind Spanish-language Univision. “No broadcast network has ever before finished a television season sweeps month in fifth place,” the New York Times observed, while noting that the network’s ratings have collapsed from last fall, when it won 13 of 15 weeks. The network appears to be in double trouble. Not only must it reduce its rates because of the dearth of viewers, it may also have to give “make-goods” — free commercials to advertisers for failing to fulfill ratings guarantees made at the beginning of the season. Remarkably, the Times observed, the best-rated show on the network currently is Saturday Night Live, which doesn’t even air in primetime and which is 38 years old. Commented Horizon Media research director Brad Adgate: “SNL is the top show? That’s pathetic. We used to marvel that it was the highest-rated show on Saturdays. But the highest-rated show on the whole network is a staggering fact.”