[b]CBS Defends Sweep, Season Victory[/b] Wed, May 21, 2003 02:46 PM PDT by Daniel Fienberg Zap2it, TV News LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) – It’s becoming something of a running gag. Every sweeps period CBS trumpets an overall ratings victory and celebrates having more viewers than any other network. Then, when CBS Chairman Les Moonves opens the floor for questions from reporters, he spends the entire time downplaying the network’s relative failure among adults 18-49, the demographic that the other networks value most. “That makes it for this season game, set, and match for CBS in sweeps periods this year,” Moonves declared in a Tuesday (May 20) conference call. “We won November. We won February. And now we’ve won May.” This marks the first time in 15 years that CBS was able to claim victory in all three sweeps periods and it caps off a victory for the season in viewers and households. For the season, it was CBS’ largest margin of victory since 1993 and the network won 25 out of 34 weeks which is, of course, more than double the number of weeks won by the other three networks combined. CBS also expressed pleasure at being the top-rated network on five out of seven nights — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Moonves could boast about having 12 of the Top 30 shows, as well as the top drama in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” He could also point out that CBS has the season’s two most-watched new dramas in “CSI: Miami” and “Without a Trace,” and the top-rated new comedy in “Still Standing.” “On Thursday, in probably the biggest story of the year,” Moonves crowed, “We have overtaken NBC on Thursday. We have broken their 18-year stranglehold on the night.” In the midst of all this jubilation, though, Moonves found himself needing to defend the network’s demographic performance. He blasted people who will make young adult ratings into the entire story of the sweeps period. “We try to have our hits right down the middle that attract everybody,” Moonves said, before referring reporters to the bottom line. “We think we’re the most profitable network in primetime. We’re certainly the most profitable on Thursday night and a number of other nights. Out of all the networks, there were two that were profitable last year, NBC and CBS.” A quick look at the numbers shows that CBS has made significant in-roads against NBC’s demographic supremacy. The network is now only 0.4 behind NBC in adults 25-54 ratings and 0.6 in adults 18-49. CBS is the No.2 network in the slightly-older-skewing 25-54 group. This is the closest the network has been since 1993, not that Moonves is keeping track. “I think you can play a game besides 18 to 49 and still come out extremely profitable and I’d rather have my bottom line than I think four other networks that are shooting solely for 18 to 49,” he said. :moreSource: [url=http://tv.zap2it.com/news/tvnewsdaily.html?31648]http://tv.zap2it.com/news/tvnewsdaily.html?31648[/url]

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