No sports, no viewers for networks as TV ratings slide for week of June 8-14, 2020


The combined prime-time viewership for the four major broadcast networks during the third full week of television’s summer season was 33 percent below the corresponding week last year, primarily because of the absence of major sporting events.

Viewership for both ABC and Fox dropped 53 percent, while NBC was down 19.7 percent. Viewership was up 1.3 percent for CBS, the only major network that did not have a major sporting event the week of June 10-16, 2019.

The week’s only premiere on the four major broadcast networks, the ABC comedic physical game “Don’t,” was second in its 9-10 p.m. Thursday time slot and 14th for the week, averaging 4.178 million viewers.


ABC averaged 2.85 million viewers for its prime-time programming between June 8 and Sunday compared to 6.06 million for last year.

ABC’s programming a year ago included Games 5 and 6 of the Toronto Raptors’ six-game victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The games averaged 18.601 million viewers and 18.763 million viewers, respectively.

Fox averaged 1.84 million viewers for its 16 hours of prime-time programming last week, versus 3.93 million viewers for its 15 hours, 58 minutes of prime-time programming the corresponding week last year, which included afternoon coverage of the final round of golf’s U.S. Open.

NBC averaged 3.26 million viewers last week and 4.06 million viewers during the corresponding week last year. NBC received a boost last year from its coverage of Game 7 of hockey’s Stanley Cup Final, which drew the largest audience for an NHL game in the U.S. since 1973, 8.761 million viewers, and finished fourth for the week.

CBS had six of last week’s eight most-watched programs to finish first in the network race for the 18th consecutive week, averaging 3.84 million viewers. CBS averaged 3.79 million during the same week last year.

The combined four-network viewership was down 24% in the first week of the summer season and 27.8% in the second week.

For the third consecutive week, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and CBS’ “60 Minutes” were the only programs to average more than 7 million viewers, with “America’s Got Talent” averaging 8.633 million viewers and “60 Minutes” 7.93 million, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

ABC’s highest-rated show was “Celebrity Family Feud,” sixth for the week averaging 5.26 million.


Fox’s biggest audience was for a rerun of the procedural drama “9-1-1,” which averaged 2.579 million viewers, 65th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs.

Fox News Channel was first among cable networks for the 21st consecutive week, averaging 3.242 million viewers. It had the 14 top-ranked prime-time cable programs, led by Thursday’s edition of the political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which averaged 4.368 million viewers, 11th overall.

MSNBC averaged 1.773 million viewers to finish second after back-to-back third-place finishes. CNN averaged 1.581 million viewers to finish third after two consecutive second-place finishes.