Television Audience Plummeting As Viewers Move Online

May 19th, 2008 | By | Category: General, Streaming Video, Video

It looks like mainstream broadcasters will have to come to terms with YouTube, video podcasts and other Internet media or they’ll face the same fate as newspapers.

TVWeek reports that this year’s May television ratings sweeps are a debacle:

Low ratings during the February sweeps may have been a fluke due to the writers strike, but the May sweeps period is painting a picture of viewers out of sync with broadcast television: Shows across multiple networks rang up series lows during a time that historically lures in the viewers.

On average, the networks are off the mark by 10% from last year in total viewers and off 17% in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.

Consistently performing shows like AB’Cs Grey’s Anatomy, NBC’s Deal or No Deal and Fox’s The Simpsons garnered ratings near or at their series lows in the 18-49 demo during this May sweeps period, which began April 24 and ends May 21.

The sweeps period is important in determining ad rates for TV stations, and lower viewership might send ad buyers looking elsewhere, including cable and the Internet.

We’ve said it before: “new media” is now mainstream media. Viewers, especially young viewers, are ready for Internet television, on their terms.

There’s no network Internet video offering yet that offers viewers a palatable option for viewing long-form video. The closest is probably Hulu, which tries to make guys watch half a dozen ads for feminine products in the course of one show.

If that’s the best broadcasters can do in this day and age, they deserve to lose 10%, or more, of their audience.

Tags: , , , ,

5 Responses to “Television Audience Plummeting As Viewers Move Online”

  1. […] forest-level item the FCC is missing is that TV is in decline — in audience, influence, and commercial viability. The Web, the medium that is blossoming, […]

  2. Jon Wee says:

    About Wicked Networks
    Your 24-hour Channel. Your Audience. Your Way.

    Wicked Networks is at the forefront of Live streaming technology enabling TV broadcasters, content owners and advertisers to maximize the scalability of their Internet reach. Our proprietary technology provides an acceleration for distribution and broadcasting of digital content to a global audience, levelling the broadcasting field by making it easy for broadcasters, both large and small, to stream live and pre-recorded video content to a global audience at a fraction of traditional distribution cost.

    Find out more at

  3. […] for television are, honestly, anything but pity-inspiring. You know what you can do to counter the effect that the Internet has had on television viewership? Be better than the Internet. You can probably pull it off, if you put even the tiniest bit of […]

  4. […] have to come to terms with YouTube, video podcasts and other Internet media or they’ll face the same fate as […]

Leave a Reply