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Uncle Eric Explains Local TV Ratings -- Again

With May sweeps behind us and the 2006-07 TV season officially over, we now have a report card on how local stations did this month: the household ratings.

Those of you who read my first blog post in 07 about local TV ratings, know that household ratings are NOT what local stations use to sell advertising, and thus are not worth much to the local industry. They only estimate what each household in the Tampa Bay area was watching, not what individual groups of people were watching.  But they can indicate a few trends.

For example:

Katie_couric We don't hate Katie Couric as much as the rest of the nation does.
At 6:30 p.m., NBC Nightly News is tops among news programming, followed by  Couric on CBS, WTVT-Ch. 13's local newscast and then Charlie Gibson on ABC.

CBS leads ins are helping WTSP-Ch. 10's 11 p.m. news.
WTSP is about 2/10ths of ratings point behind WFLA in late night news, probably because CBS wins the ratings in prime time locally. Wonder what will happen in July, when we have the first ratings period without popular anchor Bob Hite appearing on WFLA's 11 p.m. newscast.

Locally produced daytime shows are behind national names.Daytimeguestshot
Both WFLA's Daytime (at right) and WTSP's Studio 10 -- locally-produced entertainment shows at 10 a.m. which feature guests who have paid to appear -- got slightly lower household ratings than Martha Stewart's show on WFTS-Ch. 28 and the new daytime show with former Fox News Channel anchors Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy on WTVT. Now the local shows probably make more money for the stations, but viewers seem to be indicating how they feel about them.

Judge Judy is kicking Oprah's behind locally
Judgejudy WTVT's Judge Judy got household ratings almost two points above Oprah at 4 p.m. In fact, WTSP's telecast of Dr. Phil at 5 p.m., which outrates any newscast at 5 p.m., also got a higher rating than Oprah at 4 p.m. -- not the fairest comparison because more people are probably watching TV at 5 p.m., but still surprising.

The highest rated show on the dial, excluding prime time, is Jeopardy.
The only thing that comes close, in all the hours of TV programming except for 8 p.m to 11 p.m., is WTVT's 10 p.m. news, which was likely boosted by American Idol ratings. At 10 p.m., WTSP's Jeopardy does a 10.54 rating at 7 p.m., meaning 10 percent of local households with TVs -- 16 percent of those watching TV locally at 7 p.m. -- were watching this show (and that's a 19 percent decline from February).

What that really proves is what we already know; the local TV audience skews old.

Here's some more figures, courtesy of WTSP-Ch. 10: numbers to the left of slash are ratings (percentage of local households which have TVs), numbers to the right of slash are the share (percentage of local households actually watching  TV)

11 p.m. newscasts:
WFLA NC8 at 11p               6.6 / 13
WTSP-Ch. 10                     6.5 / 13   
WTVT Fox 13 News 10p-11p M-Su  6.5 / 10
WFTS Action News at 11p   4.8 / 10

5 p.m. to 6 p.m.newscasts:
Dr. Phil/WTSP   6.7 / 14
WFLA               5.9 / 12
WTVT Fox 13    5.7 / 12
WFTS Action News 1.7 / 3

6 p.m. newscasts:
WFLA-NewsChannel8              7.9 / 15   
WTSP-Tampa Bays10             6.5 / 12
WTVT Fox 13                        4.9 / 9
WFTS Action News                 2.8 / 5

Csi_miamiPrime Time - 8 p.m to 11 p.m.:
CBS/WTSP                    9.4 / 15
FOX Prime on WTVT (8 p.m to 10 p.m.)      8.3 / 13
NBC Prime on WFLA      6.4 / 10
ABC Prime on WFTS      5.9 / 9

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:39pm]


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