NCAA Preemptions Sink Syndication Ratings

Mar 31, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament preempted syndicated programming on CBS stations during the week ended March 22, dragging down weekly averages of shows that are cleared mainly on CBS affiliates, including “Dr. Phil” and “Judge Judy.”
“Phil,” distributed by CBS Television Distribution, dropped 18% to a 3.1 household rating from the previous week, marking the largest decline in first-run syndication for the week. “Dr. Phil” was the only show to see its ratings rise last week.
The rest of the talk show realm posted little movement, with CBS’ “The Oprah Winfrey Show” falling 9% to a 4.9, while NBC Universal Television Distribution’s “Maury” gained 6% to a 1.8. Every other talk show held steady.
In court, “Judge Judy” dropped 9% to a 4.1 household rating, as Twentieth Television’s “Cristina’s Court” dipped 9% to a 1.0 rating.
Court shows gained overall as CBS’ “Judge Joe Brown” (up 5% to a 2.2), Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The People’s Court” (up 5% to a 2.0) and “Judge Mathis” (up7% to a 1.6) and Sony Pictures Television’s “Judge David Young” (up 14% to a 0.8) all moved upward.
Despite airing mostly on CBS stations, “Entertainment Tonight” wasn’t hurt by March Madness, showing a 5% gain to a 4.4. “ET’s” weekly average covers only Monday through Wednesday of the week, which explains part of the gain. The program also enjoyed a 10% increase on Monday from the previous Monday after featuring a story about arrests related to the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” made positive strides, gaining 5% to a 2.2, while Warner Bros.’ “Extra” increased 6% to a 1.8.
CBS’ “Inside Edition” dropped 3% to a 2.9, while Warner Bros.’ “TMZ” fell 4% to a 2.2.
Only two shows in the rookie division made any week-to-week movement, both negative. CBS’ “The Doctors” was down 5% to a 1.8, while Warner Bros.’ “The Bonnie Hunt Show” fell 10% to a 0.9.
Among game shows, CBS’ “Wheel of Fortune” (up 1% to 7.2) and Debmar-Mercury’s “Family Feud” (up 7% to 1.5) increased, while CBS’ “Jeopardy” (down 7% to a 5.5) and Disney-ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (down 4% to a 2.3) saw declines.
“Millionaire’s” rating is a season low.


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