This morning saw some dodgy reporting by TVNewser. Broadcast TV is not my normal arena but some things are just so outlandish they can’t be ignored. Under what would later turn out to be the dubious headline of “On Day 2 of the Sochi Olympics, ‘GMA’ beats ‘Today'” TVN posted this laughable item…

Despite a win for the “Today” show on the first day of the Sochi Olympics, Tuesday’s numbers bring bad news for NBC: according to Nielsen’s Time Period Fast Affiliate data, “Good Morning America” topped “Today” by +804,000 total viewers and +237,000 A25-54 viewers on the second weekday broadcast of the Olympics.

Compared to the same day during the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, “GMA” has slashed the gap with “Today” by -151% in total viewers and -122% in the demo. During the 2010 Games, Today” — which at the time was the dominant morning show – made significant gains on “GMA” from Day 1 to Day 2 of the Olympics.

In another ratings measurement, Nielsen Fast Nationals, “Today” edged out a win in the demo, beating “GMA” by +90,000 A25-54 viewers. “GMA” still won in total viewers by +412,000. We’ll have the final ratings next week.

The drop for “Today” is consistent with a drop in Olympic ratings: Sunday’s primetime broadcast averaged 26.3 million for NBC, while Monday’s only pulled in 22.4 million, according to TV by the Numbers. ABC may also have gotten a boost from Monday’s episode of “The Bachelor,” which delivered almost 8 million viewers from 8-10pmET.

The win for “GMA” marks the first time since the beginning of electronic records that a network morning show that didn’t carry the Olympics won a morning.

The post is very confusing for neophytes…all the more reason to strive for accuracy and clearing the record…something the site still has not done.

First, TVN says Today lost to GMA citing a stat that said Today lost by 237,000 viewers in the Demo. Then later on in the piece TVN cited another stat that said that Today beat GMA in the Demo by 90,000 viewers.

(ICN pauses to let readers scratch their heads)

Two sets of Demo numbers…each telling a remarkably different story…and no context to explain this rather galling discrepency. So let’s provide that context right now…

The first set showing the GMA win, obviously provided by an overly aggressive ABC PR department, were based on the little known, never cited outside the research department, Time Period Fast Affilliate Data. The second set of numbers, probably supplied later on by NBC’s PR department, were the less obscure, sometimes cited outside the research department, Fast Nationals.

One is way more accurate than the other. I’ll give you three guesses as to which it is.

Hint: It’s sometimes cited outside the research department.

So…what happened here can now be explained. ABC used the flimsy Time Period Fast Affiliate Data to sandbag NBC with a big (probably unwitting) helping hand from TVN. Then the more accurate Fast Nationals came out and what was a 237k Demo win for GMA turned into a 90k Demo loss.

But did TVN correct its “GMA wins” headline?


Did TVN clarify that the second set of numbers trumped the first set of numbers?


Did TVN apologize to its readers for getting suckered into posting flimsy numbers that told a story that turned out to be 180 degrees from the actual story?


Black eye for ABC. Black eye for TVNewser. NBC must be furious…


One Response to “Suckers…”

  1. Larry is too short to see over them weeds.

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