Monday, September 10, 2007

About Those Univision Numbers . . .

Drudge has been carrying this story all day about Univision claiming to lead all major networks for the week among adults aged 18-34. Here's the key stuff:

In the first entire week (8/27/07-9/2/07) since all networks were reported from one single ratings sample, Univision ranked as the #1 network with an +11% advantage over its nearest competitor, FOX, and beating ABC by +43%, CBS by +42%, NBC by +57%, and fully +125% ahead of CW for all Adults 18-34, not just Hispanics. Univision was also the #1 ranked network all night every night Monday through Friday last week among the same coveted young adult demographic.

In addition, Univision aired 9 out of the top 20 programs of the entire week, regardless of language, among all Adults 18-34.

When I read that this morning I scratched my head. It sure didn't sound right, unless there are waaaay more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country right now. Where did those numbers come from? Can they possibly be right?

I started paging through some back issues of Daily Variety and came upon the Nielsen chart for the week of Aug. 20 through Aug. 26. It told a wildly different story than the numbers Univision is claiming for the week which immediately followed:

* During prime-time, Univision finished a distant fifth place. Here are the total average viewer numbers for prime time that week (in millions):

CBS: 6.92
NBC: 5.96
Fox: 4.68
ABC: 4.48
Uni: 2.99
CW: 1.95

* Univision didn't win a single night during the week, and was often getting doubled and tripled up on the nightly averages. For example, on Tue., NBC won the night with a 12.31 average (thanks to the #1 show, America's Got Talent--note to self: start book on end of civilization). Univision finished the night with a 3.43.

Sunday night was terrible for Univision. They finished with a 1.63 while CBS, powered by 60 Minutes, rode to a 7.88. NBC was right behind with a 7.57.

* Variety also has a chart with the top 16 shows in the 18-49 demo. None of them is a Univision program.

So what gives? Obviously, none of this is comparing apples-to-apples: these numbers are for prime time and total viewers (except for the top 16 list). And things change. But it seems a little odd that a network goes from being a fifth-place outlet to first place in a week.

Something doesn't seem right.


Anonymous said...


I was looking at full audience and 18-49 data, and Univision cites 18-34 data, which we do not have.

Our charts for last week showing top 20 total and 18-49 will be up soon at:

Bill Gorman said...

OK, I have updated our charts to show Top 20 Broadcast shows:

and top 20 among 18-49's

Among 18-49's Univision did get 5 of the top 20. More than any network other than CBS.

Note that the Univision press release was for 18-34's, which isn't directly comparable, but I see no reason to doubt their claims.

Robert Seidman said...

Just to add on to Mr. Gorman's comments and hopefully post an easier link back to the chart.

A couple of notes: we have access to the aggregate data (you noted some of that) and the 18-49 data. We don't have access to the 18-34 data, but the data we do have suggests that Univision was telling the truth, without spin.

While I doubt this will hold up once the regular season gets under way, for Univision this was indeed worth of celebration!