NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Things could get worse for NBC's Today show before they get better.
A program of Comcast's ( CMCSA) NBC/Universal, Today lost its long-time ratings title to Disney ( DIS)-owned ABC's Good Morning America three years ago, and now risks falling into third place behind CBS This Morning, produced by the news division of CBS (CBS).
CBS' entry in the morning race increased its ratings by 10% in the current TV season to an average of about 3.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen numbers. That cut second-place "Today's" ratings by 35% among all viewers and 38% by the 25-54 year old demographic that advertisers prize most for morning viewers.
CBS This Morning currently trails ABC by an average of more than 2 million daily viewers, and about 1.5 million behind NBC. But the two leaders have each lost viewers in the last year, while the CBS program, whose hosts include veteran news interviewer Charlie Rose, former CBS White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell and long-time journalist Gayle King, picked up viewers in each of the last two years. Two years ago, the show trailed "Today" by nearly 2 million viewers.
Today maintains a commanding, if slipping lead, in the lucrative morning news race. It leads in ad sales, selling $435 million worth of ads for its flagship 7 am to 9 am show, according to Kantar Media. But its ad sales fell by 14% in 2014, while ad sales for This Morning America increased by 3.3% to $362.9 million. CBS This Morning tallied $162.1 million in sales, a hike of nearly 10%.