Sis Boom Bah Humbug: ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ Less Than Huge on TV; the Average Televised College Football Game Does Much Better in the Ratings (But It Was Very Strong Compared to the Ratings Comedy Central Usually Gets Saturday Afternoons)

Nov 2, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Comedy Central’s "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" may have drawn a huge crowd to the National Mall, but it wasn’t such a hit on television, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker blog.

About 2 million total viewers watched the live event, aired from noon to 3 p.m. Eastern time, with the broadcast earning a 1.0 rating among viewers between the ages of 18 to 49 years old, the story says.

According to the article, "Those are strong numbers for a basic cable network during a midday Saturday before Halloween, to be sure. The network said viewership was up 362% compared with usual totals in the (typically very sleepy) weekend time slot.Comedy Central said there were also more than half a million live streams online of the event."

However, the article added, "On the other hand, college football games that air on Saturdays routinely draw several times those numbers. On weekday nights, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly — one of the cable hosts Stewart seemed to attack in his remarks — draws upward of 3 million viewers."

Some cable customers also hit a DVR glitch, with reruns of "Scrubs" getting taped instead of the rally, which apparently was due to DVRs that hadn’t adjusted for time differences given the rally was aired live across the country, the article notes.


  1. Comparing apples to oranges. College football normally beats lots of broadcast TV also. You neglect to mention that the rally improved on Comedy Central’s normal Sat. ratings by over 300%. What’s the idea?

  2. Hi Miles…Yes, somehow the first, early posting you saw didn’t have that paragraph in it…we fixed (and tweaked the headline as well)…Thanks, Chuck

    Chuck Ross
  3. We missed it due to the unfortunately west coast cable “glitch” – this affects not only taping on the DVR, but also live viewing, since the program guide listed the wrong time.

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