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October 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Of the four major networks, only one increased its ratings in the key 18-49 age group during season-premiere week this year over season-premiere week last year, Advertising Age observed today (Friday). That network was not the hard-charging NBC, which finished first in that demo last season. It was CBS, the network that regularly attracts the most total viewers but struggles when it comes to mounting shows that the "money demo" watches. (Last year it lost a whopping 17 percent of its audience in that demo.) According to the trade publication, CBS averaged a 2.4 rating during premiere week versus a 2.2 a year earlier. NBC dropped slightly to a 3.0 from a 3.1 in 2013; ABC to a 2.2 from a 2.3 and Fox to a 2.0 from a 2.2. The slippage was modest, except when one considers the fact that each of the networks, with the exception of NBC (which boosted its audience 13 percent in the demo) lost a significant number of viewers last year. Seeing the slippage continue during premiere week could only evoke consternation among broadcast network executives and advertisers.