TV Ratings Lose Another 2.5 Million Viewers
As recent viewership trends indicate, the television networks this season have seen a dwindling share of viewers.
TV RATINGS LOSE ANOTHER 2.5 MILLION VIEWERS
With the Fall 2007 network schedule announcements looming, the BIG FOUR networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX -- have lost another 2.5 million viewers just in the last two months alone! They have been trying to save face, and claim that the reason for this significant drop in ratings has come as a result of TiVo, and other in-home activities, such as the Internet. However, if that were true, one might expect that the numbers should balance on each side of the equation, but, they do not do anything of the sort.
This is all about trying to save the $8.8 billion dollars in advertising revenue from the Spring 2006 advertsing purchase cycle. Major advertisers are not as willing to pay big money for viewers that may or may not materialize later in the season. One of the major problems is the programming, which for the most part, has sunk to the domain of the lowest common denominator -- stupid shows for stupid people. Remember, it was the Bilderberg Group at their first-ever conference, who said that all entertainment should be kept to a level of sixth grade or less.
Next week, the networks will unveil their fall schedules for advertisers, who this year, will be looking toward discounts based upon fewer viewers. It will be interesting to see how this dilemma will be dealt with, as it is the advertisers who carry more weight and power, than do the networks, who are reeling from a series of bad reports featuring once popular series, such as SURVIVOR, 24, and LOST -- three shows whose viewers are significantly down from last year.
In April 2007, NBC set a record for the fewest viewers over the course of one week, and then, the very next week, scored even FEWER viewers. For the CBS show SURVIVOR, this season has been the lowest rated for the series, and ABC's LOST lost half of its' viewers, when the network moved the show from 9:00pm to 10:00pm Wednesday's. After nearly a year and a half hiatus, HBO's THE SOPRANOS is way down in viewers, who simply lost interest after the show was off the air for so long.
The situation is so dire that broadcast executives are blaming this year's ratings fiasco on DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME -- which sounds like a bullshit excuse, at least from where I sit. However, almost two solid months of reruns in March and April is more likely the reason for the serious drop in viewers. While it is true that fewer people watch TV during the warmer weather, this spring was cool and had NOT driven too many people outside, as the programmers would like us to believe.
Another thing that hurt ratings were the two to three month hiatus in the middle of the season. Shows like LOST, PRISON BREAK, JERICHO, and HEROES all lost significant portions of their audience during these breaks.
David Poltrack, head researcher for CBS, stated the networks dilemma rather succinctly:
"We let them get out of the habit of watching television a little bit, and it's going to take some time to get these people back in front of their television sets."
But, as I have been keeping my eye on this matter for the past two years, right here on THE KENTROVERSY PAPERS, that audience never does make it back in front of the television, once they discover that there is more to life than what Simon Cowell is sniffling about on this week's AMERICAN IDOL.
A report released today has shown that only 6.05 million viewers are watching the CBS NIGHTLY NEWS with Katie Couric. And, these were the ratings at the beginning of the all-important May Sweeps! ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT is pulling in 8.1 million viewers, which was enough to win the week for ABC. NBC's NIGHTLY NEWS claims 7.5 million viewers. For all three of these networks, these numbers are pathetic.
As far as prime-time viewers are concerned, CBS averaged 11.2 million viewers (7.3 rating, 12 share), while ABC had 10.7 million (7.0 rating, 12 share). Fox averaged 10.1 million (6.1 rating, 10 share), but won among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers it considers the most important advertising demographic. NBC had 7.5 million viewers (4.9 rating, 8 share).
In conclusion, this is a trend which continues its' downward pressure on the ratings, viewers, and most certainly, the profits of these mass media outlets. While I certainly hope that people are going to do something more beneficial with their time than sit there watching television, it is still left up in the air as to the sum total effect that this will have on the overall health of the medium. At a minimum, let us hope for some more intelligent programming, than in the recent past, whereupon most television shows are a complete insult to my intelligence, and they insult yours, as well.
© 2007 Kentroversy Papers
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
The following sources were used in the creation of this Kentroversy Paper . . .
Data Says 2.5 Million Less Watching TV (May 8, 2007)
Nielsens: Real Bad Week for Katie Couric (May 8, 2007)
Prime-Time Nielsens Topped by 'Idol' (May 8, 2007)
TV Viewership Down