Network PR spin makes politics look like amateur hour

by Paul William Tenny

I try to stay away from the spin involving ratings because every network thinks it's the top network every week, no matter what happens. They can all find some small victory to cling to to declare themselves the BIG WINNER this week.

As a small example of that are these press releases, all from the same week of programming.

ABC celebrates being #1 on Monday nights (but only in the 18-49 demographic) for 12 consecutive weeks, which of course encompasses the bland summer hiatus season when nobody has much original content airing other than reality garbage.

FOX ranks itself #1 for the entire week and calls Masterchef the #1 new summer series (but only in the 18-49 demographic), without noting that it's probably the only new summer series. Oh, they also "won" Thursday and Friday too, with NFL preseason games.

CBS declares its "weekly winning streak" reaches 9 weeks in this press release. How is that possible that both CBS and FOX won the same week? FOX is only counting the demographic and CBS is only counting total viewers.

So, win total viewers and ignore the demo (CBS), or win the demo and ignore total viewers (FOX), lose both and just pick a random weeknight to call a win (ABC) and then head to the bar to get drunk together when cable shows win all the Emmy Awards.

NBC isn't out there bragging these days, mostly because they don't have much to brag about. But they did clobber everyone with the return of Sunday Night Football that week, and The Event seems to be the most hyped (anticipated?) new show coming this fall, so at least there's that.

in Ratings, Television


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