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Analyzing Ch.2 "history"; Bills' Brandon has "Draft Day" cameo

By Alan Pergament

Call it the Tale of Two Releases.

While I was gone for a week, I received two different takes on the news demographics during the recent February sweeps.

Not surprisingly, Channel 2 and Channel 4 had very different outlooks on what occurred in February in the so-called "money" age groups.

By that, I mean stations sell demographics to advertisers, not overall household ratings.

In some cases, what the stations didn't include in their takes was as interesting as what they did include.

Continue reading "Analyzing Ch.2 "history"; Bills' Brandon has "Draft Day" cameo" »

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" »

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" »

The tearful Bode Miller interview helped his image

By Alan Pergament

My Olympic journal:

I woke up Monday morning and hadn't seen The Bode Miller interview that blew up Twitter and other social networks the night before.

So I went online, found it and was shocked.

Not really by anything that NBC's skiing reporter Christin Cooper did in her interview with Miller after he won a bronze medal.

I realize it is a minority view  -- I read Twitter and have seen the polls overwhelmingly blasting NBC and Cooper -- but I was shocked that her line of questioning became controversial when Miller cried as she pursued the impact that his brother's death almost a year ago had on his race and his feelings about the medal.

Continue reading "The tearful Bode Miller interview helped his image" »

Buffalo is No.1 with Miller in net

By Alan Pergament

Buffalo hockey fans can shout "we're No.1, we're No.1" this morning after the ratings came in for the USA's 5-1 victory over Slovenia Sunday morning with Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller in net.

The Buffalo market had a 6.3 rating for the game on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), with Boston (5.6), and Pittsburgh (3.9), Providence (3.6) and Philadelphia (3.2) rounding out the top five.

The cable rating Sunday here was about 25 percent below the 8.5 rating in Buffalo for Saturday's 3-2 shootout win over Russia. Buffalo was third in the country for Saturday's more intense, exciting and meaningful game, behind Pittsburgh (9.8) and Boston (9.2).

Here is the rest of the Top 10 for Sunday's game: Minneapolis-St. Paul 3.1, St. Louis (3.0), Chicago and Hartford-New Haven (2.8) and New York (2.7).

Buffalo's NBC affiliate also scored well for four hours of Sunday's prime time broadcast network coverage. Channel 2 was No.3 among all NBC stations with a 19.1 rating, with only Kansas City (20.0) ad Milwaukee (19.6) ahead of it. NBC averaged a 12.1 household rating nationally.


Beatles give Olympics "Back in the U.S.S.R." a battle locally

By Alan Pergament

While watching "The Grammys Salute to the Beatles" Sunday night, I tweeted "will be interesting to see if Beatles special on CBS causes NBC to shout HELP! when its Olympic ratings come in."

My comment was based on my Twitter followers, who seemed more interested in the Beatles celebration.

The local ratings have arrived and they were very interesting.

The Sochi games in the former U.S.S.R. averaged a 17.9 rating for four hours of coverage on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

The two-and a half hour Beatles special averaged a 12.1 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

Continue reading "Beatles give Olympics "Back in the U.S.S.R." a battle locally" »

FiOS may carry CBC -- but after Olympics; Levin promotes CBC fan

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

On the first official day of the Sochi Olympics, I got a text from a friend who has Verizon's FiOS asking where he could find CBC's coverage to watch the opening ceremonies live instead of waiting several hours for NBC's coverage.

I had to tell him that FiOS doesn't carry CBLT, the CBC affiliate out of Toronto.

The absence of CBC on FiOS and DirecTV is irritating to many Olympic and National Hockey League fans with those carriers, especially since they know Time Warner Cable carries the CBC and CTV affiliates out of Toronto.

So I asked the spokesperson for FiOS if there are any plans to bring CBC into Western New York.

Here's the response from spokesman John Bonomo: "We are interested in carrying the station and working towards carriage. However, we do not have a time frame, and it will not happen until after the Olympics."

If history is a guide, it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the Buffalo Sabres went on a five-game winning streak before FiOS offers the Canadian channels.

Bonomo didn't have an answer as to what are the issues keeping CBC off of FiOS.

I suspect they are the same issues that are keeping CBC off of DirecTV. The fact is that other than Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle and a few other markets near the Canadian border, there probably hasn't been much interest in pressuring the carriers to carry CBC.

TWC subscribers also were fortunate that the CBC and CTV were carried by Adelphia before TWC took over the cable system and the status quo was kept in regards to those channels.

It is unfortunate that TWC doesn't carry the two Toronto affiliates in high definition, especially during the Olympics. But I've been told that people with antennas on their roofs or powerful indoor antennas in some areas can get the Canadian channels in HD.

I watched Friday's opening ceremony live on CBC and was impressed even though it wasn't in HD. But I must admit watching some of NBC's taped coverage in HD was a much better viewing experience.

I had to laugh at one point during the late news Friday when Channel 2 anchors Scott Levin and Maryalice Demler read messages about what viewers thought of the opening ceremonies. I'm not sure if they chose which comments to read or if they were chosen for them.

Levin read a comment from a viewer who said how much she enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies live in the morning. In other words, she was watching on CBC, which carried the opening two times before NBC carried it.

Channel 2's promos are the best in the market. But I doubt that it wanted Levin promoting NBC's competition in TWC homes here.

Levin also didn't do a very good promotional job earlier when he said that Jimmy Fallon will make his debut as the host of "The Tonight Show" after the Olympics. I'm also not sure who wrote Levin's copy but Fallon's premiere actually is Monday, Feb. 17, several days before the Olympics ends. NBC is hoping the Olympic lead-in will help the local newscasts that week and that will also help Fallon.

Speaking of Fallon, his final "Late Show" on Friday before he moves to "Tonight" included a monologue shot at Donald Trump. After noting that his fellow NBC star ("Celebrity Apprentice") said he would cut taxes 50 percent if he were elected governor of New York State, Fallon cracked that the response from New York's citizens to Trump's offer was "I would rather just pay taxes."

All the Western New York Republican talk about Trump's possible race seems to ignore something implicit in Fallon's joke -- Trump is even less popular downstate than high taxes.










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 |