Spanish-language behemoth Univisión bests NBC

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Spanish-language behemoth Univisión bests NBC

Postby jon » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:32 am

Spanish-language behemoth Univisión bests NBC in hunt for sweeps ratings as struggling 'Peacock Network' hits bottom for first time ever
A series of flops in this season's sweeps has dropped the network to fifth, behind a surging Spanish network fueled by spicy prime-time teleoperas. Fox's 'American Idol' has also hit an all-time low.
By Gina Salamone / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, February 21, 2013, 9:26 PM

NBC is set to finish fifth for the first time ever in one of television’s all-important sweeps months — bested even by Spanish-language Univisión.

It’s a dramatic drop for the network, which came out on top both in last February’s sweeps and in the last round of ratings wars in November.

But without its fall anchors, “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice,” NBC was left with new shows that flopped — “1600 Penn,” “Do No Harm” and a much-promoted new season of “Smash” that has so far failed to click with viewers.

“Sweeps,” held in February, May and November, are a major determinant of advertising rates.

Univisión, which has biggest Spanish-language TV audience in the world, has soared in this February’s sweeps thanks to spicy prime-time telenovelas like “Por Ella Soy Eva” (For Her, I’m Eva), “Amores Verdaderos” (True Love) and “Amor Bravio” (Fierce Love).

Univisión has averaged a 1.5 among the key demographic of adults aged 18-49 between Jan. 31 — when February sweeps started — through this past Tuesday. NBC has averaged a 1.2 rating in that same period, which will end Wednesday.

That compares to 3.7 for NBC last February and a 2.8 in March.

NBC, which had been calling itself a comeback kid after a robust fall, declined comment.

The Peacock Network had placed much of its winter hopes on an overhauled “Smash,” a Broadway-themed drama starring Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing. The show’s Season 2 premiere on Feb. 5 was down a whopping 71 percent in viewers from the series debut last year, and 39 percent from last season’s finale.

It plummeted further in its third episode this week.

“Do No Harm,” which starred Steven Pasquale as a neurosurgeon with a dark side, did not live up to its title. It flopped and was cancelled on Feb. 8, after just two episodes.

NBC’s problems don’t end there. The Jenna Elfman and Bill Pullman comedy “1600 Penn,” about a First Family in the White House, has won few viewer votes since premiering in December and is considered a near-certain cancellation.

“Deception,” a new prime-time soap, has also foundered and is likely headed for the scrap heap.

While Univisión is set to end this February’s sweeps as the No. 4 network among adults 18-49 for the first time, and tops NBC for the first time in any sweeps period, its ranked No. 4 before, beating CBS in the July 2010 and July 2012 ratings fight.

Boosting Univisión’s ratings are shows like Mexican soap operas “Por Ella Soy Eva,” about a womanizing working man, and “Amores Verdaderos” about love triangles at an ad agency.

This past Sunday, Univisión also aired two specials on singer/actress Jenni Rivera, who died in a plane crash in December — one hosted by the popular Don Francisco and featuring interviews with her family.

“Univision continues to set new milestones while our English-language competitors continue to see declines,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univisión Communications. “We look forward to continuing this momentum and to providing viewers across the country with the content they crave each and every day.”

Meanwhile, Fox also suffered a blow this week when “American Idol” sunk to its lowest ratings in 11 years Wednesday, pulling in under 15 million viewers. Even the much-hyped feud between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj hasn’t helped the show, which while still pulling in big numbers, has been shedding viewers in recent seasons.
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