WABC-TV NYC still most-watched station in America


With completion of the 2010-2011 television season, ABC O&O flagship WABC-TV New York announced that it has retained its crown as the most-watched station in the United States. WABC also proudly notes that it grew the audience year-to-year for each of its weekday newscasts.
“With a 3.5 rating/9 share in DMA Households, Monday-Sunday Sign-On to Sign-Off, WABC-TV continues its dominant run in the nation’s largest television market by also showing year-to-year growth in DMA Households. With each rating point representing 75,153 Tri-State area TV households, ABC7 attracts a larger audience than any other television station in the nation,” the station announced. The tally was issued with only one day of data yet to be included for the full season.  

The station’s “Eyewitness News” franchise continues to lead the market in DMA Households and Adults 25-54 in all weekday time periods, WABC declared, and every weekday newscast showed year-to-year growth in DMA Households. ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” continues to lead in both Households and Adults 25-54 and was also up year-to-year in both areas.

For those who are interested in digesting data, here is the play-by-play from the station for its entire broadcast rundown:

WABC-TV’s ongoing success begins with the early morning news race. The station’s “Eyewitness News This Morning” with Lori Stokes, Ken Rosato and Bill Evans, begins the day at 4:30 a.m. and boasts the highest DMA Household rating from 4:30-5:00 a.m., with twice as many Adults 25-54 as any other station in the time period. At 5:00 a.m., WABC-TV leads in DMA Households and Adults 25-54. WABC-TV’s 6am newscast rounds out the station’s morning newscasts by also ranking #1 in DMA Households and Adults 25-54.

“Eyewitness News at Noon” with Lori Stokes, Ken Rosato and Bill Evans holds a 50% lead over its closest competition in DMA Households and draws more than twice as many Women 25-54 viewers.

WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness News at 5:00” with Diana Williams, Sade Baderinwa and Lee Goldberg tops its nearest competitor by more than 50% in DMA Households and is more than its two competitors combined among Adults 25-54.  This sweep marks the 83rd consecutive ratings survey period that WABC-TV has finished an outright #1 in DMA Households among local M-F 5:00 p.m. newscasts.

The weekday edition of “Eyewitness News at 6:00” with Bill Ritter, Liz Cho, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers is nearly double its nearest competitor in DMA Households, and delivers more Adults 25-54 than any two competitors combined.  This sweep marks the 88th consecutive survey period that WABC-TV has finished an outright #1 in DMA Households among local M-F 6:00 p.m. newscasts.

The Mon-Fri edition of “Eyewitness News at 11:00” featuring Bill Ritter, Liz Cho, Sade Baderinwa, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers wins the late news race with a 33% advantage over its closest competitor, and also maintains a sizeable advantage among key Adults 25-54.             
Source: NY Nielsen LPM Live+SD Overnights 4/28-5/24/11.

“Eyewitness News” is equally strong on Saturdays and Sundays, where WABC-TV airs more weekend morning local news than any of its competitors. “Eyewitness News This Morning” with Michelle Charlesworth, Phil Lipof, and Amy Freeze collectively ties for #1 in DMA Households and Adults 25-54. In the evening, “Eyewitness News at 11:00,” featuring Joe Torres, Sandra Bookman, Laura Behnke, and Jeff Smith, continues to perform well on two very competitive evenings.

In the evenings, ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” continues to lead in both Households and Adults 25-54. This longtime ABC news mainstay is also up year-to-year in both areas.

During the day, more people in the tri-state area keep their TV’s tuned to ABC7. “Live with Regis and Kelly” continues its two-decade-plus stretch of dominance at 9:00 a.m., again leading its time period.

ABC’s “The View” easily wins its time period in Households and key Women 25-54, and is up year-to-year in both. From 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ABC’s soaps “All My Children”, “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital” lead the market in DMA Households and Women 25-54.

In the final sweep of her long career on ABC7, “Oprah” went out with a bang. She dominated her time period and showed strong year-to-year growth in DMA Households and key Women 25-54. Beginning May 26th, “Eyewitness News First at 4” takes over in the 4:00 p.m. time period.

WABC-TV’s syndicated programs “Rachael Ray,” “Millionaire,” “Jeopardy,” and “Wheel of Fortune” continue to win or be highly competitive in their respective time periods in Households and most key demographics, including Adults and Women 25-54.

ABC’s “Nightline” continues its long run of success by ranking #1 among all Late Night programs in Adults 25-54.  In Late Night, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” continues to generate buzz and performs well among all late night network entertainment programs.

WABC-TV’s iPhone app generated nearly 2 million page views in the first three weeks of the month, while its Android app generated more than 600,000 page views. 7online.com also generated more than 4 million page views while 7togo.com generated approximately 2 million.

RBR-TVBR observation: Once again this is proof of the value of local broadcasting. Even in the nation’s largest DMA a local station can outperform its network – in this case even when both are under common ownership. In much smaller markets you will frequently see a heritage news station greatly outperform the national averages for its network – something that hasn’t even changed since the advent of remote controls spared couch potatoes the bother of turning a dial.