NEW YORK CITY, New York: The Nielsen company said that CBS has again claimed the title of most-watched television network for the 15th consecutive year, averaging just under 6 million viewers during nightly prime time for the season that just ended.
Just as in 2022, NBC was the second most popular network, followed by Fox and ABC, Nielsen added, noting that all networks lost viewers, with NBC recording the biggest drop at 13 percentage decline while Fox had the, smallest at 1 percent.
CBS' winning streak began in a different era, before the internet and streaming, with its viewership average during the 2008-09 season being 11.75 million, nearly double this year's figure.
In comparison, ABC and Fox both lost more than half of their live viewers from the 2008-09 season, while NBC was down 33 percent, Nielsen said.
However, broadcast networks also benefit from today's wider choices and greater flexibility in setting schedules. CBS said that within 35 days, a typical episode of "CSI: Vegas" more than doubles its viewership from its first night of airing.
Also, live events such as sports are bringing in more viewers for television networks. According to Nielsen, NBC's "Sunday Night Football," which first aired in 2006, was the most popular program this past season, averaging 18.5 million live viewers.
Additionally, long-running series have maintained their popularity. The most-watched drama on the night it first airs, CBS' "NCIS," has been on the network's schedule since 2003. The most popular comedy, CBS' "Young Sheldon," first aired in 2017, but it was a spinoff of "The Big Bang Theory," which began a decade earlier.
The most-watched prime time news program, CBS' "60 Minutes," has been on the air since 1968. The most-watched reality show, NBC's "The Voice," began in 2011.