OLD Media Moves

CNBC documentary ratings decline

February 14, 2010

Peter Lauria of the New York Post writes Sunday about how the ratings for CNBC‘s documentaries have declined this winter.

Lauria writes, “Based on premiere-night ratings for the business network’s last 10 documentaries, CNBC averaged 332,000 total viewers and 155,000 viewers in the adult 25-54 demographic from Sept. 23 thru Dec. 16. Included among the documentaries to air during that time were ‘New Age of Wal-Mart,’ ‘Coca-Cola: The Real Story,’ and ‘Inside the Mind of Google.’

“But ratings began a precipitous decline with the Dec. 16 broadcast of ‘Illegal Gambling.’ That documentary and the four others to premiere since then, which include ‘Marriage from Hell: The AOL Time Warner Merger,’ and ‘Planet of the Apps,’ averaged a total audience of just 178,000 and only 75,000 viewers aged 25-54.

“Part of the reason for the decline has to do with the subject matter being covered, of course — Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Google are more broadly appealing than a compendium of business highlights from the last decade or the evolution of iPhone apps.

“Another factor has to do with budgets; the broader the topic, the bigger the budget. And a bigger budget generally equates to bigger ratings.”

Read more here.

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