A TV executive who happens to be a FBvian (guess which one!) educates us about ratings:
Looking at one day’s ratings can be very misleading. That’s why agencies buy “averages and trends.” Here is an example: Sunday night prime time is strong for ABC because of Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal. At the end of the evening, viewers turn the TV off set on the channel they were watching. When they turn the TV on in the morning, it turns on to the station they were watching the night before. That’s why a station with a strong night usually has a strong “next morning.” Plus, think of your own household. Do you actually sit and watch the program or are you doing other things? Morning television can be as much background noise as anything.
For the October ratings period, here are the rolling averages and the trends for morning news from 6AM to 7AM:
KDFW has a 5.2 rating and 18 share. Year to year they are UP 24% in rating and 6% in share.
KXAS has a 4.5 rating and 15 share. Year to year they are UP 2% in rating and DOWN 12% in share.
KTVT has a 1.8 rating and 6 share. Year to year they are UP 100% in rating and share.
WFAA has a 2.8 rating and a 10 share. Year to year they are DOWN 15% in rating and 23% in share.
So the real story is KDFW and KTVT are trending UP. WFAA is trending DOWN despite all the promotion.