Sweeps Brighten NBC O&Os

Dec 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The NBC owned-and-operated stations were feeling positive about their future as the November sweeps concluded last week, based on the fact that some key rookie syndicated shows have helped stabilize the group’s syndie lineups and afternoon news programs, according to Steve Schwaid, VP of news and programming for NBC’s O&O group.
The NBC-owned stations are likely to renew Telepictures’ freshman talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”-one of the new additions that has performed well for the NBC-owned stations-before Dec. 31, sources said. “Our new series have left us in an even more competitive situation in daytime, and we feel very good about where we are,” Mr. Schwaid told TelevisionWeek. “We’ve seen some stations stabilize their news viewers in the afternoon as a result, and afternoon news viewership is the hardest to capture.”
“Ellen’s” run on the NBC O&Os hit five-year highs for the group among women 18 to 49, six-year highs among women 25 to 54 and four-years highs in the time slot among women 18 to 34. The series was up 144 percent among women 18 to 34 in October compared with the same month in 2002.
“We feel very good about the show after we saw a great performance in October that has continued on in November,” Mr. Schwaid said. “This series has averaged an 80 percent conversion among women 25 to 54, which to us is phenomenal.”
On the NBC O&Os, “Ellen” scored a 2.0 in the demographic and a 2.5 household rating.
Mr. Schwaid also gave props to NBC Enterprises’ “Starting Over,” which struggled out of the gate but has since seen a steady climb up the ratings ladder, especially among the hard-to-get 18 to 34 crowd. The series most recently earned a 0.8 national rating in the demographic and earned its highest household score yet at a 1.1.
“`Starting Over’ is doing great in conversion of the younger demos. Now the challenge is to get people to know the show is there,” Mr. Schwaid said.
Among the new shows on the NBC O&Os’ docket for next year is NBC Enterprises’ talk show starring Jane Pauley. The show has been cleared on the group for the fall.
“Jane will continue to add to the strength that we have on our stations,” Mr. Schwaid said. “It looks to be a strong show and major player on daytime. She brings the best of all possible worlds, and to have her is very encouraging for us.”
The NBC O&O station group is made up of 14 NBC-affiliated television stations in major U.S. markets. The stations generate more than $1 billion annually from advertising sales.