Saturday, February 18, 2006
The Biggest Loser During The Olympics: CBS
Everyone thinks NBC is suffering because these Olympics are down a bit from the ratings in Nagano (the last overseas Olympics). But the network -- ranked fourth in the demos that matter -- is bringing eyeballs to their network, meeting the ratings they promised to advertisers and getting a platform to promote hit-lets like My Name Is Earl and The Office (a hit-let is a show that gets more press than ratings) and midseason launches. (NBC also rightly points out that it makes use of the Olympics in countless other ways, pumping up ratings for cable channels like USA, their websites and so on.) So they're fine. ABC and Fox are doing great, too. They decided to keep airing their most popular shows during the Games and it's paid off huge in the ratings for everything from House and American Idol to Desperate Housewives and Dancing With The Stars. (Launching a two-parter of Grey's Anatomy off the Super Bowl to gain record ratings opposite the Olympics was the smartest move of all.) So who's the loser? CBS. They decided to roll over and play dead in the middle of February sweeps and air mostly reruns. Even a repeat of CSI did well on Thursday. Imagine if they hadn't squandered this chance to compete. Their affiliates and corporate owners should be angry.