Olympics up the game in ratings

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Television’s February sweeps book is traditionally punctuated by weather-related scare stories that bump up ratings across the newscast board.

 


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Giving winter storms names for the second season helps brand this particular TV news fixation (touche, The Weather Channel, everyone really ran with that overhyped concept).

We have just survived a weekend of Titan; can Ulysses be far behind?

But an even bigger spoon stirring the new ratings pot every four years is the Winter Olympics. This year, a dash of “Tonight Show” spice was provided the week of Feb. 17 by new host Jimmy Fallon. “Late Night With Seth Meyers” debuted Feb. 24. So it has been quite the sweeps book for NBC and, by trickle down theory, local affiliate WPXI.

The most recent sweeps period ran Jan. 30-Feb. 26.

The Olympics gave a nice boost to WPXI, especially at 11 p.m. In the Nielsen Co. book, which ended Nov. 27, 2013, KDKA led in households, which represents a popularity percentage of the roughly 1.1 million TV households in the Pittsburgh market, with an 8.7 demo rating and a 16 percent share.

It was followed by WTAE (7.5 and 14) and WPXI (6.4 and 12) in the last ratings chart.

In the most recent measurement, WPXI was first (9.3 and 18), followed by KDKA (9.1 and 17) and WTAE (7.5 and 14).

Similarly, in the 25-54 demographic, WPXI — which led with a 3.8 demo and 12 share in late 2013 — jumped to 5.6 and 17. It was followed by KDKA (3.7 and 10) and WTAE (2.6 and 7).


Maria Sciullo: msciullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.

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