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Ch.2 back on top in morning, tightens race at 10 p.m.

By Alan Pergament

Forgive me, it is that time of year when I spend more time with numbers than NFL executives at the NFL Combine. Here are some of the big stories of the just-concluded February sweeps:

*Channel 2 News is back on top in the morning and gaining ground at 10 p.m.

* Its 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. newscasts have experienced about 15 percent drops from a year ago but it still remains well ahead of second place Channel 4.

* Channel 4 is within shouting distance of Channel 2 at 6 p.m. but the first sweeps results for its hour-long news are nothing to shout about.

* Channel 7 is buried in third place in all time periods that the three stations compete and lost about 20 percent of its meager 5 p.m. audience from a year ago. That certainly gives its next owner, E.W. Scripps Company, a good look at what is facing once it takes over.

Continue reading "Ch.2 back on top in morning, tightens race at 10 p.m." »

Local TV news departments ignore 10 million reasons for TWC increase

By Alan Pergament

I watched the local TV news departments report Tuesday on Time Warner Cable's 6.4 percent rate increase.

I didn't see any of the stations mention that a good deal of that rate hike was being used to pay them.

TWC certainly wanted subscribers to know that $2.25 per month was for the right to transmit the signals of the local network affiliates even though they are available in most homes for free with antennas.

That's why TWC separated the fee from the other rate hikes for its cable, internet and equipment packages.

Continue reading "Local TV news departments ignore 10 million reasons for TWC increase" »

Sochi Olympics, Syracuse hoops, "Downton" winners here

By Alan Pergament

It may have seemed like I was reporting every day during the Sochi Olympics about how high the ratings were on cable's NBC Sports Network and Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

I got tired of writing about the local success, and judging by my blog hits you got tired of reading about how the ratings in Western New York were No. 1 for the U.S. women's loss in the hockey finals to Canada and for the U.S. men's hockey loss in the semifinals to Canada.

I never got around to tell you that the U.S. men's hockey 5-0 loss in the bronze medal game to Finland also was No.1 nationally.

However, many WNYers seemed to lose as much interest as the NHL players did in that game. The rating of 6.0 for the loss to Finland Saturday on the NBCSN was about half of what it was here for the USA loss to Canada Friday afternoon.

Continue reading "Sochi Olympics, Syracuse hoops, "Downton" winners here" »

TWC increase was predictable but higher than expected

By Alan Pergament

I hate to be one of those people, but I told you eight months ago that you should root for Time Warner Cable in its national retransmission dispute with LIN Media, the owner of Channel 4 and Channel 23.

On May 23, 2013, I wrote: "TWC is about as popular as Tom Brady here, but this is one case in which cable subscribers should root for it to hold the line and keep future cable rate increases down to a minimum."

"It is TWC's position that refusing to pay LIN's demands will benefit subscribers because the increased cost is likely to be passed down to the consumer."

Continue reading "TWC increase was predictable but higher than expected" »

Meyers' "Late Night" premiere is nothing special

By Alan Pergament

When jokes in his "Tonight Show" monologue bombed, the late Johnny Carson used to try and salvage them by cracking that you are in trouble when you have to explain them.

This came to mind a few times during the premiere edition of NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" early this morning.

Meyers had to spell out a few jokes in his monologue, which got the show off to a very slow start that it never really recovered from.

Let me explain something. I really wanted to love Meyers' premiere.

He's been one of my favorite co-anchors on the "Weekend Update" portion of "Saturday Night Live," delivering his dry lines with exquisite timing.

Continue reading "Meyers' "Late Night" premiere is nothing special " »

A Syracuse grad crosses Duke game at Cameron off bucket list

By Alan Pergament

This isn't exactly a story about television, but it does have elements of the old series "Mission Impossible."

About a month ago, I asked a friend with deep basketball connections if he would help me take one item off my bucket list.

Since I almost kicked the bucket a few years ago, I thought it was about time I went to the top of the list and tried to see a basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke University plays and I have wanted to go since my childhood when Long Island legend Art Heyman played for the Blue Devils.

Since I graduated from Syracuse University, I asked if he could get me two tickets for the SU-Duke game on Saturday night, Feb.22 that was going to be televised on ESPN.

Talk about "Mission Impossible."

My friend asked several of his connections and was greeted with laughter.

Continue reading "A Syracuse grad crosses Duke game at Cameron off bucket list " »

Buffalo is top-rated market for USA semifinal loss to Canada

By Alan Pergament

In news that probably won't be talked about as much as Justin Timberlake's funny apology to Buffalo on "The Tonight Show" Friday night, Buffalo was the top-rated market for Team USA's 1-0 loss to Canada Friday in the semifinals of the men's hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics.

The rating in the Buffalo market for the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) telecast was a 12.1, about 40 percent higher than the 8.5 rating for second place  Minneapolis-St. Paul. Boston was third with a 7.5, Pittsburgh fourth with a 7.1 and Providence fifth a 6.9.

As impressive as the local viewership for the game was here, it doesn't count the viewership on CBC out of Toronto or at all the WNY restaurants and bars that carried the game during lunch time.

Continue reading "Buffalo is top-rated market for USA semifinal loss to Canada" »

Buffalo market top-rated for USA-Canada women's final

By Alan Pergament

It won't ease the pain of watching Team USA's men's team lose to Team Canada, 1-0, in the semifinals of the Sochi Olympics this afternoon, but Buffalo hockey fans have one reason to be proud.

Once again, Buffalo was the No. 1-rated market for the NBC Sports Network's coverage Thursday of the heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss that Team USA's women's team suffered in the gold medal game to Team Canada.

Buffalo was No. 1 for the women's game with an 8.8 rating, with the Minneapolis-St. Paul market second with a 7.9. Boston was third with a 6.5, Providence fourth with a 6.0 and Ft. Myers, Fla. fifth with a 5.9.

The rest of the Top 10 consisted of Denver (5.8), Las Vegas (5.8), Hartford-New Haven (5.7), Pittsburgh (5.6) and Knoxville (5.3).

Buffalo has been one of the top-rated markets for Olympic hockey games throughout the tournament and is expected to be there again when the ratings for the men's semifinal game come in Saturday.

"Downton" has commanding season finale; Ch.2 scores with Olympics

By Alan Pergament

You may recall that my review of the first seven episodes of "Downton Abbey" before the fourth season premiered was that this season of the popular PBS series is a well-acted, entertaining downer.

I suggested the fall leaks about the big plot moments of the season that previously played in Great Britain ruined some of my enjoyment of the exploits of the Crawleys and the people that serve them early in the 20th Century.

I watched the first seven episodes all over the holidays and I almost got as depressed as Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) after the tragic death of her husband Matthew (Dan Stevens) in the season three finale.

There wasn’t a whole lot of happiness or laughter going on in the first seven episodes as Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), Anna Smith (Joanne Froggart), her husband Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) and Tom Branson (Allen Leech) all faced crises and serious issues.

Continue reading ""Downton" has commanding season finale; Ch.2 scores with Olympics" »

Weather delays low-power channels; Fallon ratings remain strong

By Alan Pergament

Do you remember a few months ago when Lockport police officer Steven Ritchie said he planned to debut a low power TV station with as many as six channels as early as Feb.1 as long as the weather co-operated?

Well, I don't think I have to tell you that the weather didn't co-operate and that has postponed the debut of WBXZ-TV, Channel 56, by about a month.

The 51-year-old Ritchie was granted FCC approval to take over the license for WBXZ-TV, in August after purchasing it from a Syracuse owner of several low power stations for $25,000. Ritchie said the station has been around for about 20 years and has carried home shopping and music channels before.

Now he says the plan is to install the equipment needed to send the channels from a tower on top of the HSBC building in downtown Buffalo by next week.

Continue reading "Weather delays low-power channels; Fallon ratings remain strong" »

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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV |