TV press releases can make for some wacky reads. Even when it’s clear that the world is imploding around a TV network, leave it to the PR folks to spin facts or cherry pick what they’d like to make it seem like they’re not just doing fine, they’re doing great.
I’m not faulting them at all for trying because it is their job after all, but even they have to admit that what they’re trying to pull gets a bit outrageous at times.
A few weeks back Bell Media published “Ratings Bloom! CTV Claims Eight of Canada’s Top 10 Most-Watched Programs this Spring,” and the PR folks did what they do best.
Of the gems you’ll find in there is one where they tout The Catch as ranking in the top 10 new programs for the spring with 1.2 million viewers. I don’t even think they were trying with that one because 1.2 million is an absolute bomb when you place it next to some of the other hyped series premieres even if you just look back over the past two seasons. Heck, it’s not even one of the top 10 new programs of the year, which is probably why they went with “top 10 new programs this spring” instead of “top 10 new programs” to begin with.
Bell also claimed that How to Get Away with Murder and Gotham had “successful” sophomore seasons, despite both seeing their ratings tumble dramatically.
They also included a chart with the most-watched programs by total viewers and in the 25-54 demo. The Big Bang Theory topped both, but when you look at the 25-54 chart the numbers are sometimes less than half of the total.
For example, The Big Bang Theory has 1.18 million viewers on the 25-54 chart, but it has 2.66 million on the total viewers chart. That must mean the other half of viewers must be really young, which I doubt considering the hype around Netflix and that young people can sit around watching bootleg TV shows on YouTube, a series of six-second videos or people playing video games. There’s also the more likely option that those missing viewers are just really old.
Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the 25-54 chart is that The Walking Dead ranks third. Actually, The Walking Dead regularly clobbers the broadcast shows in the U.S., but in Canada it’s not only just a cable show, it’s a cable show that airs on a channel we imported from the U.S. I’m not even sure how CTV got those numbers, because I haven’t seen U.S. networks included on Numeris’ Top Programs chart. I guess Numeris still tracks those numbers and only gives them over to the folks who are more important than you and me.
Even putting The Walking Dead aside and focusing on the presser’s main talking point that CTV has eight of the top-10 programs, you still have a big problem. While having eight of the top-10 programs sounds great, that’s kinda like saying you’re the most popular Cabbage Patch Doll in 2016; you’re on top of the heap of something that no one really cares about anymore.
Case in point, this week’s chart only has one show with over two million viewers. Last year around this time we had eight shows drawing in two million viewers, and in 2014, nine shows broke that mark.
Anyway, enough of me being a cynic and poking holes in their press release. We’ve all got better things to do like not watch television apparently.
(Featured Image: Screenshot via Bell Media/YouTube)