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Spanish-Language Network Univision Ranks 3rd In U.S. Ratings


NBC has had a terrible ratings period, but the news here is not so much the network's decline as the primary language spoken on a network that passed NBC. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has more on TV's February sweeps, starting with the network that, for the moment, is number one.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: CBS broadcast this year's Super Bowl.


BARCO: And with that, the network easily swept the February ratings competition for the coveted TV viewing adult audiences, aged 18 to 49. It's the first time that's happened for CBS since 1998. Last fall, NBC was number one in the ratings, boosted by its NFL Sunday night football broadcasts, and the singing competition "The Voice."


BARCO: But with those two shows over for the season, the peacock network has fallen to number five.

BILL GORMAN: That their audiences fell so dramatically, that was pretty surprising.

BARCO: Bill Gorman is cofounder of, a website that tracks the ratings and news of the TV industry. He says what was also somewhat surprising was that Univision passed NBC in the ratings.

GORMAN: They're spending more on programming, they get better marketing, their audience is growing. Univision has been closing the gap for quite some time with the English language broadcast networks. And they were close enough this season, so that when NBC fell as much as they did, Univision caught them, passed them.

BARCO: This is a first for a non-English language network, and Univision has been boasting about it on TV and online.


BARCO: And Gorman says it's the one he'll be watching out for to do even better with its fast growing demographic. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition,, and