Demo Data Boosts NBC For Upfront

Though CBS has a more stable schedule and has cut the 18-49 ratings gap this season, media-agency executives say NBC will still be able to charge considerably more in the coming upfront because of its slew of shows that draw more upscale and educated audiences.

Data compiled by Magna Global USA and Horizon Media, based on Nielsen Media Research numbers, show that for viewers with $100,000-plus annual incomes, NBC has eight of the top 10 shows in household ratings, seven of the top 10 among 18-49s, and seven of the top 10 among viewers with four years of college or more. NBC also has the most shows in all those categories in the top 40.

Media-buying sources said this enables NBC to charge a minimum of 20 percent more per ratings point in those shows, and maybe more.

Among its shows with high-income, highly educated audiences in both households and 18-49 are scripted shows Will & Grace, Friends, Scrubs, The West Wing, Las Vegas, ER, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Frasier and reality shows The Apprentice and Average Joe. Another NBC show with marginal household and 18-49 ratings, American Dreams, also shows up on the list, and is an example of how NBC can reap rewards from a show that is consistently beaten head-to-head at 8 p.m. on Sundays by CBS’ Cold Case.

CBS has no shows in the top 40 in $100,000-plus among 18-49s. In household ratings/$100,000-plus, its only show in the top 20 is the older-skewing 60 Minutes, ranked No. 16. “This is certainly an argument we are going to use when negotiating with CBS,” one buyer said.