By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
February 9th, 2015
News LOVES publicizing numbers: weather numbers; stock numbers; crime numbers; sales numbers; body count numbers; and, especially polling numbers on just about any and every topic.
Except LOCAL television news.
It always amazes me that, within a few hours of the US Super Bowl game, Canadian media were all atwitter with the facts that the game scored (where it REALLY counts… in delivering TV viewers for advertisers’ bucks) at whopping 49.7 ratings score … even topping 52.9 at the end.
That meant more than 114 million people (consumers!) were tuned in.
We also read, hear. see coverage in Canadian media about ratings ups and downs for American TV channels and networks.
In fact, CBC.CA just last week carried a FULL detailed story on Nielsen ratings battles in the US, complete with analysis that overall viewership declined 12 per cent in January, compared with the same month last year.
But try to find/get TV ratings in Canada … and you encounter the GREAT WALL OF SECRECY: stations and networks guard their numbers from the prying eyes of the public and some of them even from their own staffs.
What are they ashamed of …that US stations/networks are not???
I think it says a LOT that an industry which spends a lot of time, effort reporting OTHERS’ numbers is so disrespectful of the public’s right to know when it comes to themselves.
Fortunately, though, there are still those in the media who understand that … and feel the public DOES have that right to know … so they feed me some tidbits from time to time.
And I’m happy to pass n the latest:
The sky IS falling at Global TV’s Newshour … or perhaps I should say continuing to fall ….if you can believe a few tidbit pieces I’ve garnered from recent ratings at my old alma mater .
In January, Global’s Newshour garnered an average 4.6 rating, which I’m told is their worst January overall ratings score since the station went BIG TIME into the television news business …back in the 1960s!
CTV scored a 2.0 average rating…their second best January ever, while CBC at 6 p.m. averaged a miserable 0.4 …. DOWN from 0.6 in the same month last year. (Seems I was right about new anchor Andre Chang’s lack of gravitas.)
Already this month, CTV News at 6 came even closer to Global’s Newshour …garnering a 2.6 score Feb 1, compared to 3.3.
All these ratings (percentage share of tv viewer audience) are in what advertisers see as the key 25-49 audience demographic (supposedly the BIG spenders).
Really hard to believe that for YEARS AND YEARS, Global … when it was BCTV and out of Global management’s clutches … regularly buried CTV by SIX to ONE!!!!
Now, if local media outlets have different or more detailed ratings and they agree the public DOES have a right to THEIR local news numbers as well as OTHER people’s, I’d be happy to publicize them.
Or are most of them too embarrassed?