Numbers Never Lie…Or Do They?

TVNewser’s Jordan Chariton writes about CNN’s…ahem…creative accounting…behind making the boast that Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown is the #1 program in the Cable News demo. Yes, this story has the characteristics of a plant but that doesn’t mean it’s not accurate…

Bourdain’s just-completed third season, which ran from April 13 to June 8, averaged 386,000 A25-54 viewers over the eight Sunday premiere episodes.

The fine print (not all of it included in the ad) goes on to say that it’s a “blend” of viewer data including Live+7 day, Live+3 day and Live+ same-day viewership, in other words, a variety of DVR viewing. CNN says that’s enough to best even “The O’Reilly Factor,” the long-dominant cable news show, which averaged 356,000 A25-54 demo viewers in that period, using that same “blend.”

We’ll make our fine print, regular-size: O’Reilly’s total is for 37 programs, compared to Bourdain’s eight. And when the Live+ same-day measurement is used “O’Reilly Factor” averaged 344,000 demo viewers; the “The Kelly File” was next with 310,000, then “Parts Unknown” comes in third with 278,000. CNN reports. You decide.

2 Responses to “Numbers Never Lie…Or Do They?”

  1. Grandpa Dave Says:

    Numbers don’t lie.
    Those who manipulate numbers lie.

  2. lynnlgm Says:

    I can’t say those numbers make a lot of sense to me, but wouldn’t The Factor have proportionally higher ratings, if each show was endlessly repeated thru the weekend?

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