ATTN JMS: ratings confusion

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu Aug 29 06:19:17 EDT 1996

Subject: ATTN JMS: ratings confusion
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
+  1: Aug 28, 1996: davidlee at (David S. Lee)
*  2: Aug 28, 1996: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)


From: davidlee at (David S. Lee)
Lines: 23

Joe, I'm a little confused.

You've said in the past that B5's ratings and share have been pretty good.

I received a letter from my local station (WXON, Detroit, MI, USA)
implying that B5's ratings were not very good.  These low ratings
constituted part of their justification for eliminating B5's prime-time
broadcast, leaving a late-night weekend timeslot as their sole broadcast
of the show (for full text of letter, see thread entitled "WXON banishes
B5 in Detroit"--and please overlook the typos!)

Can you provide any insight into these apparently contradictary
statements?  Thanks!

David S. Lee  (internet:  davidlee at
Department of Otolaryngology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI  48109    


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Lines: 29

No confusion, just different terms.

Stations that tend to support the show tend to do great ratings; San
Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, others...the show does gangbusters. 
In places where the show is not well supported, or it has a crummy
timeslot, then the ratings are not as good.

When your station refers to low ratings, they're referring to their
specific area, for starters, which often hits the problem noted above. 
Stations have zip interest in the national ratings, since they only sell
their local spots based on their ratings *there*.  Nationally we do quite
well.  The national advertisers are all very solid, and the cost per
minute is high enough for WB to make a tidy profit.  But that doesn't help
a local station where it's not getting support, or otherwise not doing
what they need it to do for them.  

In many cases, we've found that a station may have taken a show not
because they actually wanted the show, but because they didn't want
anybody *else* to get it initially, to prevent that threat.  Or because
they were part of a station group that bought it as a package.  And thus
it doesn't get supported.  Invariably, when a station in this category
drops the show, it *helps* us because another station almost always picks
it up, and just as invariably does *better* with it than the first one.


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