Nielsen Releases Top Ten Lists for Media Industry 2009

Nielsen has released its list of top ten lists for the media industry in 2009 and appointment viewing. particulalry live shows. Broadcast nets continue to lead the TV pack, while cable tops the time shifters.

The top two regularly scheduled programs by household rating were both American Idol, the Wednesday edition (14.4 rating) and the Tuesday edition (13.8). ABC's Dancing With the Stars  (12 rating), NBC's Sunday Night Football (11.7), and the Dancing With the Stars results show (9.9) rounding out the top five, followed by NCIS: L.A. (9.8), NCIS (9.4), NFL on ESPN (8.8), Sunday Night NFL Pre-kick (8.8) and The Good Wife (8.5).

NBC had the top four single broadcasts when its almost daylong coverage of the Super Bowl is divided into distinct segments, which it was. The game was tops with a 42 rating, followed by the pre-kick, kick-off and post-game shows. In fact, NFL football accounted for nine of the top 10 single telecasts, the other being the Oscars with a 20.6, coming in at number eight.

But while broadcasting's live programming dominated the day-and date viewing, cable topped the list of time-shifted programming.

Battlestar Galactica was tops with an additional 59.4% viewing from time shifters. Mad Men was second with 57.77% more (perhaps all those viewers watching Sunday night football over on NBC), followed by Damages with 56.3%, Rescue Me with 53.2%, True Blood with 46.9%, Stargate Universe (46.5.9%), Sanctuary (45.9%), Heroes (the top broadcast show with 45.9% as well), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (45.5), 10 Things I Hate About You.Dollhouse, and Melrose Place (all 44.9).

Other highlights: Top TV ad product placement in terms of brand recognition was Subway plug in Biggest Loser when contestants eat at restaurant; most likeable ad was Budweiser ad with clydesdale fetching tree branch; Weather Channel, ESPN and CNN came in number four, eight and 10, respectively on the list of top Web sites accessed over mobile phones.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.