There’s a New No. 5 on TV: Broadcaster Reveals It’s Closing In on the Big 4

Oct 29, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The broadcast service that ended the 2013-14 television season in the No. 5 position behind CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox in household rating is PBS. Deadline.com reports that PBS announced it ended the season with a 1.5 average rating in prime time, based on Nielsen data — up 5% from a 1.43 a year earlier.

The service ranked No. 8 among all broadcast and cable networks in 2012-13, which represented an improvement from its No. 11 ranking in 2011-12.

The piece quotes Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive for PBS, explaining that PBS “deals in households because PBS’s mission is different than commercials networks — we’re not selling eyeballs and demographics. Our mission is to reach as much of the American public as possible.”

Contributing to the improved numbers are both season four of “Downton Abbey,” the highest-rated drama series in the history of PBS, which pulled an average audience of 13.2 million total viewers, and the Ken Burns documentary series “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” which rolled out Sept. 14 and is included in the PBS measurement period of Sept. 23, 2013-Sept. 21, 2014.

THR notes: “PBS claimed its audience increases were seen across the schedule, including its biggest bump on Sundays, but also 4% hikes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. The prime-time improvement makes PBS one of only a small group of networks, including NBC and ESPN, to see rating increases over this period of time. The pubcaster said it enjoyed increases on 19 of its prime-time hours.”


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