The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Drudge is crowing that the ratings for the first night of the Dem Convention were low:
THE BIG YAWN: NETWORKS IN RATINGS FREEFALL AT CONVENTION, OPENING NIGHT ALL-TIME LOW: ABCNEWS JENNINGS WITH 3.5 RATING/5 SHARE [DOWN FROM 4.5/8 IN 2000]; NBCNEWS BROKAW 3.3/5 [2000:4.8/9]; CBS DAN RATHER 3.2/5 [2000:3.8/7... TRAIL ALL OTHER PRIME-TIME MONDAY PROGRAMMING [CSI:MIAMI RERUN ON CBS PULLS 8.6 RATING/13 SHARE]... DEVELOPING...
Does this tell the whole story? Er, no. Couple things to keep in mind:

1) All three of those networds were showing, you know, the exact same thing. If you want a better feel for the broadcast network audience for the convention, add those numbers together. You end up with a rating of 10, which beats Drudge's precious CSI:Miami. Is that the entire broadcast audience, by the way? Let's see... Locally, the convention speeches were also shown on our Fox affiliate, on the now-independent KRON-4, and on PBS.

But more importantly,

2) The most likely reason that broadcast network ratings for the convention are down is because the cable ratings are up. Ratings on CNN, Fox and MSNBC are probably all up considerably this week, with the first two of those networks far into the 2's, and the third up substantially. Something like three-quarters of Americans now have some form of basic cable, up from 2000, and that has to have a significant effect on the ratings for broadcast news networks.

But let's say, just for kicks, that the monday audience really was low. What matters, though, is thursday.

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