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February sweeps ratings: Declines for leading stations as people watch less TV



myfox_full_logo_1018.jpgLooking over ratings for February's "sweeps" ratings period in the Tampa Bay area, two trends stand out:

The market's most-watched stations, Fox's WTVT-Ch. 13 and NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8, have seen big declines compared to last year among key viewers aged 25 to 54 in most every newscast time period. And those declines are mirrored by an erosion in the amount of people watching television overall.

channel_8_morning_news_team.jpgFor example, at 6 a.m., WTVT and WFLA are the top-rated shows in that time period among key viewers. But despite longtime anchor Gayle Guyardo's return to WFLA's morning newscasts, its rating is down 44 percent from March of last year, when she left; WTVT is down 23 percent in those key viewers. (because the Winter Olympics fell in February 2010, direct comparisons to that month are difficult).

At the same time, the levels of households/people using TV are down 17 percent in that hours, mirroring similar declines in most local TV news dayparts. People are moving away from TV as ratings are declining; online news and video sources seem a likely culprit.

oprahfansintampa.jpgOther notes: Despite big efforts at WFLA and CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 in morning newscasts, ratings among key viewers are down at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. compared to March 2010, with both declining nearly 50 percent. Thanks to the loads of publicity from her cable channel debut, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey more than tripled ratings of former time period champ Judge Judy on WTVT among key viewers. And WTVT emerged on top in the prime time race, likely due to the continuing power of American Idol. 

Local stations don't need to follow the typical "sweeps" period of gathering ratings -- electronic methods make such information available every day. But because so much of the national TV system still amps up efforts to gain viewers during these ratings periods -- February, May, November and, to a lesser extent, July -- it's still worth looking at ratings at local stations at the end of such periods.

Here's a few numbers, all in adults 25 to 54, provided by WFLA.

Myfox_full_logo_1018baynews9logo.jpg5 a.m. to 6 a.m. newscasts:
BN9  (Bay News 9)                                            1.0  
WTVT-Ch. 13 (Fox 13)                     1.0
WFTS-Ch. 28 (ABC Action News)         0.5
WFLA-Ch. 8 (Newschannel 8)             0.4
WTSP-Ch. 10 (10 News)                     0.3

6 a.m. to 7 a.m. newscasts:
WTVT-Ch. 13 (Fox 13)                                  2.0  
BN9                                                 1.5
WFTS-Ch. 28                                   0.9
WFLA-Ch. 8                                     0.9
WTSP-Ch. 10                                   0.3


7 a.m. to 9 a.m.:
Good Day Tampa Bay (Fox 13)                  2.0  
Today show  (Newschannel 8)       1.3
Good Morning America (ABC)          1.1
Bay News 9                                     1.1
Early Show  (10 News)                   0.5


degeneres.jpg4 p.m. to 5 p.m.:
Oprah (Newschannel 8)                2.6   
Ellen (ABC)                           1.1
Judge Judy                             .9
BN9                                        .4
Inside Edition                         .2  


5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. newscasts:
WTVT                        1.3
WFLA                 1.2
WFTS                  .9
BN9                     .6

WTSP                 0.4


5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. newscasts:
ai_01-judges_0092f.jpgWTVT                    1.6
WFLA              1.2
WFTS                .8

BN9                 0.7

WTSP              0.4

6 p.m. newscasts:
WTVT            2.0

WFLA        1.4

WFTS        1.0
BN9           0.8

WTSP        0.5

Prime Time, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, 7-11 p.m. Sunday:
WTVT    (FOX)      7.7  
WTSP  (CBS)    4.4
WFTS  (ABC)    2.6

WFLA  (NBC)    2.0
WTOG (CW)     0.6

11 p.m. newscasts:

WTVT                1.7
WTSP           1.7

WFLA           1.5

WFTS           1.4

BN9               .8

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 11:58am]


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