[UPDATED to reflect final Nielsen numbers.]
Now we know what the early impact of “The X Factor” and “The Voice” has had on “American Idol,” which debuted last night for its 11th season: a major negative and more so among younger viewers.
Compared to a year ago, ‘Idol” saw its ratings tumble from 26.25 million for the season 10 opener to 21.93 million last night. That’s an 16.45 percent drop off, presumably a lot of folks who preferred “The X Factor” and didn’t feel the need to commit to “Idol” season 11. That is also a 28 percent fall from two years ago, when the show debuted at 29.9 million viewers.
Among younger viewers, the impact was even bigger, falling from a 9.8 to 7.4 rating. That’s a whopping 24 percent fall off. And compared to 2010? The 18-49 rating was 11.8. That’s a 37 percent drop over two years. Scary!
Sadly, it usually only goes down from here so we may be seeing viewership numbers in the 16 to 19 million range the rest of the season, compared to 22 to 25 million last year.
In other news, “Idol” is available on demand for the first time on these cable systems: Armstrong Cable, AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Cox, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and Xfinity TV.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk