Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowls and Lead-Outs in A18-49


Super Sunday! As last year, I'll point you to the TVByTheNumbers posts (Super Bowls and lead-outs) for the complete list of viewership info, and here I'll post my figures in adults 18-49 dating back 13 years. Thanks to SonOfTheBronx for the 1999 & 2000 numbers, which I didn't have in last year's post.

Date Number Net Result Viewers (millions) A18-49 rating A18-49 share
2/1/1999 XXXIII Fox DEN 34, ATL 19 83.72 36.5 /
1/30/2000 XXXIV ABC STL 23, TEN 16 88.41 37.8 /
1/28/2001 XXXV CBS BAL 34, NYG 7 84.33 35.8 71
2/3/2002 XXXVI Fox NE 20, STL 17 86.80 34.7 70
1/26/2003 XXXVII ABC TB 48, OAK 21 88.64 36.4 70
2/1/2004 XXXVIII CBS NE 32, CAR 29 89.79 35.7 72
2/6/2005 XXXIX Fox NE 24, PHI 21 86.07 33.2 68
2/5/2006 XL ABC PIT 21, SEA 10 90.75 34.6 69
2/4/2007 XLI CBS IND 29, CHI 17 93.18 35.2 70
2/3/2008 XLII Fox NYG 17, NE 14 97.45 37.5 73
2/1/2009 XLIII NBC PIT 27, ARI 23 98.73 36.7 72
2/7/2010 XLIV CBS NO 31, IND 17 106.48 38.6 75
2/6/2011 XLV Fox GB 31, PIT 25 111.01 39.9 77

Now, the lead-outs and their retention of the game number. I'll note, of course, that the two programs are separated by the post-game show. In the last five years, the post-game always lasted right around 25 minutes, but in past years it's been more variable (the Alias year is particularly infamous for having a long show, and that contributed in part to its bad retention).


Net Show Viewers (millions) Viewer retention A18-49 rating A18-49 retention
2/1/1999 Fox Family Guy 22.01 26.3% 11.5 31.5%
1/30/2000 ABC The Practice 23.85 27.0% 10.2 27.0%
1/28/2001 CBS Survivor 45.37 53.8% 21.8 60.9%
2/3/2002 Fox Malcolm in the Middle 21.45 24.7% 10.5 30.3%
1/26/2003 ABC Alias 17.40 19.6% 8.2 22.5%
2/1/2004 CBS Survivor 33.53 37.3% 14.9 41.7%
2/6/2005 Fox The Simpsons 23.07 26.8% 11.3 34.0%
2/5/2006 ABC Grey's Anatomy 37.88 41.7% 16.5 47.7%
2/4/2007 CBS Criminal Minds 26.31 28.2% 10.0 28.4%
2/3/2008 Fox House 29.05 29.8% 12.9 34.4%
2/1/2009 NBC The Office 22.91 23.2% 11.0 30.0%
2/7/2010 CBS Undercover Boss 38.65 36.3% 16.2 42.0%
2/6/2011 Fox Glee 26.80 24.1% 11.1 27.8%

One perhaps good note for NBC is that the unscripted shows (all of which have been, like The Voice, season premieres) have done quite well. The three unscripted shows in the last 13 years are all in the top four in retention. The bad news for NBC is that it has been a really rough year for competition reality programs. That may not make a whole lot of difference tonight, but it very well could in subsequent weeks.

Even though it's not terribly relevant this year since the lead-out program will be a season premiere, I'll include this "Super Bowl Impact" table, which compares the five episodes before the post-Super Bowl airing with the five episodes immediately after.

Net Show 5 before 5 after change
Fox The Simpsons 4.57 4.19 -8.3%
ABC Grey's Anatomy 8.58 10.38 +21.0%
CBS Criminal Minds 4.44 4.10 -7.7%
Fox House* 7.44 6.32 -15.1%
NBC The Office 4.48 4.30 -4.0%
Fox Glee 4.52 4.40 -2.7%

There's a tendency to call a show some kind of epic failure if it doesn't get a Super Bowl bounce. But the bottom line is that any Super Bowl bounce (much less a big one) is much more the exception than the rule, at least for scripted programs in the middle of their seasons. Premieres are a different duck; it undoubtedly boosted the early episodes of Undercover Boss and probably Survivor's two seasons that premiered after the Bowl.

*- House aired just one episode two days after the Bowl before running out of eps and leaving the air for nearly three months due to the strike, so it likely doesn't really even belong on here. It did do slightly better in its one (post-Idol) ep immediately after (9.0) than in its last one before (8.7).
**- Some of these averages have at least some preliminary numbers: 4 for Simpsons before, 3 for Simpsons after, and 1 for Grey's after.

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