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That bastion of left-wing radical thinking, the NY Times is ready, willing, and able to declare Olbermann the reason why NBC won the prime-time Nielsen ratings fight on Sunday night
CBS Outscores Football: Despite preseason football on NBC, CBS finished first in the ratings on Sunday, getting a boost from 60 Minutes and Big Brother. Nielsen estimated that the CBS news magazine attracted 8.8 million viewers at 7 p.m., while Big Brother, its 8 p.m. reality show, drew 7.6 million. Among adults 18 to 49, however, NBC finished on top, as the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles delivered 8.7 million viewers after a special broadcast at 7 of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann (4 million). CBS ranked second in that demographic, ahead of ABC's all-repeat lineup. Fox was fourth overall, as its Teen Choice Awards earned 4 million viewers from 8 to 10.
So Keith Olbermann was the reason that NBC won the night? That's certainly the impression that the NY Times wants the reader to have although a close look at the numbers provided in this article quickly reveal that in the 7 p.m. time slot, CBS's 60 Minutes got 8.8 million viewers; Olbermann? Just 4 million.
But let's go to a less-biased source shall we? How about Broadcasting & Cable, a "Bible" of the broadcasting industry.
NBC Wins Sunday Prime Despite Weak Olbermann Pre-Game. NBC won the 18-49 demo Sunday night with its coverage of the preseason intrastate rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. However, its tryout of Keith Olbermann in a pre-game edition of his MSNBC Countdown show was last among the Big Four in the 8-9 time period with a 1.3. NBC averaged a 2.7 rating/8 share in the demo for the night.
Much different take on Olbermann's ratings from B&C for sure. We especially liked this quote from B&C:
Obermann said last week he expected it to be a one-shot deal unless it was a success with viewers and affiliates.
Olbermann may lie but the numbers never do and the numbers here reveal that Olbermann does as well on Broadcast television as he does on Cable, i.e., a solid fourth placed finish! He must be so proud. But with Olbermann, everything is a ratings success. We're just surprised he's not trying to spin this to talk about how many times he was viewed on You Tube to try and boost his pitiful ratings numbers.
But lest the Olbyloons declare that B&C, the Bible of the Television industry is biased, let's go to the Hollywood Reporter. Hey, it's Hollywood, they love liberals right? Surely that has to have better news for Olbermann and his faithful band of lunatics? Nope. Numbers still don't lie.
NBC's preseason NFL battle of Pennsylvania seems to be the winner in Sunday night's primetime, though the one-shot "Countdown" on the broadcast network came in a distant fourth place in its hour.
Distant fourth place? Ouch.
Meanwhile, NBC gave MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" (4.1 million, 1.3/4) a tryout at 7 p.m. "Countdown" was easily beaten in viewers by "60 Minutes" (8.8 million, 1.5/5) and in adults 18-49 by ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.5 million, 2.0/7). Fox came in third place at 7 p.m. with a repeat "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (3.6 million, 1.4/5) followed by the two-hour "Teen Choice Awards" (4 million, 1.7/5).
Easily beaten? Ouch again! But wait, in rushes TVNewser, a long-time Keith Olbermann supporter. Brian Setzer may be gone but the pro-Keith Olbermann movement continues on at TVN.
We've received the Nielsen fast-national ratings (not the actual national ratings) and have a sense of how last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann did in its premiere on NBC. The upshot: in total viewers it beat "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" on Fox. But finished behind "60 Minutes" and "America's Funniest Videos." 4,146,000 total viewers watched. Countdown finished fourth in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos.
Note the disclaimer that these weren't the "real" ratings, just the "fast overnights", which is exactly what the industry uses to gauge how well a program did, but hey, TVN never lets facts get in the way of it's "reporting" just like their buddy, Keith Olbermann. And just in case anyone was left with the impression that Olbermann's ratings sucked, well, TVN just had to add this little additional note:
More: An emailer writes, "4M viewers...is one hell of a sampling...I wouldn't kiss that number off." For context: Olbermann averaged 721,000 viewers each night in July. Almost 6 times as many watched last night.
Hmm. My guess is that said emailer is either one of the following: a) the MSNBC/NBC publicity department; 2) Olbermann's personal PR agent; or 3) Olbermann himself. How else were they so ready and able to cough up the average number of viewers for Olbermann in the past month? TVN should identified whether or not this was someone from the network's PR department or an "insider". Our bet is on insider, as in very insider, say Keith Olbermann's brain.
And if the numbers were bad, the reviews were less than stellar too. Here are two from the sports world, first AOL Sports:
Keith Olbermann's NBC Commentary on Michael Vick a Big Disappointment I was thrilled when I learned that Keith Olbermann had been added to the NBC Sunday night NFL broadcast team because I think Olbermann is smart, funny and insightful. But Olbermann had the first of his regular Sunday night commentaries yesterday, and it was none of those things.
And Deadspin, another popular Sports website:
Welcome Keith. . . but what? We love Olbermann but we're not sure quite what he was trying to say here.
And this from a website called Awful Announcing:
Maybe it's just me, but I'd like my Football with a little less anger. It is just a "game" after all. I don't care if we are talking about Mike Vick....no one ever needs to be THIS serious....
If you're an Olbyloon, or Olbermann, or Olbermann's agent, or a NBC Sports Executive, you can't be happy with these kinds of ratings and review. But don't worry, the Olbyloons are here to spin it for him: Anti-Olbermann nutjobs freaking out on NBC Sports message board. Yeah, those "anti-Olbermann nutjobs?" Those would be NBC Sports fans with long posting histories at that NBC sports message board, not politically-motivated whackjobs like the average Olbermann fan.
UPDATE: See if you notice a similarity in the following Olbyloon talking points posted across the internets today: Daily Kos; Countdown On NBC Does DOUBLE O'Reilly's Ratings; MediaBistro Message Boards (aka TVNewser); Olberman Doubles O'Reilly - Huge Victory; and the TVSpy Message Boards; Olbermann's numbers----a big hit. According to whom? Olbermann? His PR Agent? The average Olbyloon? As noted below in the discussion Cee and I had, Olbermann couldn't even garner anywhere NEAR what repeats of Dateline has previously done in the same timeslot, and against reruns on the other four networks, still only managed to come in fourth in a five-way race. But hey, if that's their definition of success, we'd sure hate to see what they deem a failure.
And hey, when all else fails, just lie about his ratings. That's the approach taken at the Countdown forum on Television Without Pity or talk about what an insult it was to the average, sterotypical football viewer (those liberals love to sterotype don't they?) and therefore a liberal victory just to have Olbermann on the airwaves Sunday night like they did at Huffington Post.