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Super Bowl boosts TV ratings

Mail Tribune

Super Bowls always dominate the ratings scape. But before now, the National Football League's championship game has fallen outside of the Nielsen Media Research quarterly ratings.

Nielsen's Medford/Klamath Falls Viewer Profile, reflecting television habits in a seven-county market, show that 117,000 people watched Super Bowl XXXVI on Medford television station KMVU.

— — — — — — Olympic coverage puts — — KOBI news in second place

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Network Winter Olympic coverage helped boost KOBI-TV into a — — solid second place perch in Medford/Klamaths Falls market newscasts, according to Nielsen — — Media Research.

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KOBI Channel 5, an NBC affiliate, drew a 6 rating and an 11 — — share, for its 6 p.m. newscast. Long-time ratings leader KDRV Channel 12 (ABC) had an 11 — — rating and 21 share, while KTVL Channel 10 (CBS) had a 5 rating and 10 share.

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With the 11 p.m. newscasts straddled on both sides by Olympic — — coverage, KOBI (5/20) closely followed KDRV (6/21), while KTVL (3/12) trailed.

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Rating numbers reflect the percent of television-equipped — — households that are watching a program.

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The share reflects the percentage of households that actually — — have a television on and are watching a particular show. — — — — —

The ratings you usually see for the Super Bowl are for the major markets, says KMVU general manager . The fun thing for me is that the Super Bowl numbers have never included the Medford-Klamath Falls market or on a stand-alone report.

The Super Bowl was pushed back from its customary final Sunday in January into February as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. As a result, the game was part of the February book report.

New England's surprising 20-17 triumph over St. Louis produced a 37 rating and a 71 share in this market. Rating numbers reflect the percent of television-equipped households that view a particular program. The share reflects the percentage of those households that have a television on and people watching a particular show.

The quarterly Nielsen sweeps are recorded in February, May, July and November. They're based on viewer's diaries reflecting viewing habits during a four-week period. Nielsen then breaks down the demographic information in 15-minute segments before sending it to subscribers in book form a month later.

Television stations, advertising agencies, syndicators, cable companies and researchers, among others, pore over the books that go a long way in determining the price of advertising. Industry figures suggest TV and cable advertising revenues were $19-$21 million in 2001, a gain of — to 5 percent over 2000.

There are certain key things I look at as soon as (the Nielsen book) hits the door, Rogers admits. Then I'm continually going back and checking parts of the day and different shows to see how competitive we are; we all want to be No. — at something.

Although Rogers believes local ratings generally register within 10 percent of national marks, he thinks that the 117,000 figure may have been less than the real audience. Nielsen numbers don't take into account Super Bowl parties, satellite viewers and fans who watch at sports bars.

There's a big fight within the industry to improve collection and its proper attribution, Rogers says.

The Super Bowl wasn't the only big sporting event during the ratings period. NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City made a broad, if not as deep, swath across the Nielsens.

NBC's prime-time Olympic replays enabled local affiliate KOBI to roughly triple its share compared with a similar period a year ago. KOBI had a 15 rating and 27 share for the opening ceremonies at Salt Lake City, translating into 49,000 viewers in the seven-county market.

The report shows that KDRV stays on a roll following its top-rated newscasts. From 7 to 7:30 p.m. Wheel of Fortune (7 rating/12 share) tops KOBI's Seinfeld (4/8), KTVL's Fraser (3/6) and KMVU's Friends (5/9). However, Friends was favored by the 18-49-year-old men and 25-54-year-old women audiences targeted by many advertisers, while the preponderance of the Wheel of Fortune viewers were in the 50-and-older range.

Reach reporter at 776-4463 or e-mail

Peter Rogers - Photo by Roy Musitelli