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Party Strategies and TV Ratings: the Game Is Changing.

February 20th, 2017 · 7 Comments

Politicians and party strategists are well aware of who is reading what, who is listening to what, and, especially, who is watching what …. and as each election draws near, they pay very close attention to that data.

In the US, tv ratings are literally an open book, but in Canada, it’s highly proprietary corporate material, normally available only within the industry, to advertising agencies and advertisers.

And as HUGE potential advertisers,  only eleven weeks left before the May 9 provincial election, the parties are all planning where they can get maximum news coverage and literally where they can get more bang for their advertising  bucks.

They use the data to plan times and locations for announcements and speeches and rallies, schedule appearances by the Premier, top and lesser cabinet ministers, star and lkesser candidates …and even strategists themselves.

And what they are now finding is the field has changed … quite a bit from the last time around.

I have traced this transition over the past couple of years, as ratings tidbits have come my way … and the changes lately seem even more remarkable.

Global still leads the 6 p.m. slot … averaging 3.7 ratings points in Jan 2017 … but down from 4.3 in Jan. 2016; CTV at 6 p.m. came second in Jan. 2017 averaging 2.2 ratings points, but up from 2.0 a year earlier. (CTV 2 at 6 p.m. adds another .2 ).

In other words, the gap is continuing to close … and two weeks ago I heard that CTV’s weekly average was 3.1 … a new record …. making even greater inroads against Global’s lead.  And on more and more occasions, CTV at 6 p.m. has actually beaten Global’s ratings … and no doubt taking note are Global’s brass and advertising agencies and party srtategists as well.

It still boggles my mind, of course, when I recall that BCTV (Global) at 6 p.m.  used to regularly and consistently outdraw our arch nemesis by 5 and sometimes even 6 to 1!!!

At 5 p.m., last week, CTV’s average draw of 1.9 ratings points … again apparently a new weekly record, did better than Global’s 1.5.

Viewer habits and numbers have clearly changed … and are up for grabs.

And nowhere is that more noticeable than in the Morning ratings: the move of Sophie Lui to the Newshour has clearly hurt.

Global still leads year to year in the morning … scoring a 1.2 average in January;  CTV averaged 0.8 in January …. but increasingly, even there, CTV is drawing closer, on some mornings beating and even doubling Global’s Morning numbers.

These numbers … and trends … are all important: not just to the stations and networks themselves; but over the next two and a half months especially to the political parties as well.

And WE as voters will be able to soon see how and where they place their bets … and their bucks.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder; you can receive First Alerts of new postings on this blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam, no fees etc. h.o)

→ 7 CommentsTags: British Columbia · Media

Trudeau Avoids Talons of America’s Eagle

February 16th, 2017 · 72 Comments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau landed right in the center of America’s eagles nest  this week … and despite the often wild, aggressive nature of the current Washington Alpha eagle …  Trudeau and Canada emerged fairly unscathed.

At least for now.

President Donald Trump went out of his way to praise the special, long relationship of co-operation and … this IS important … acknowledged the benefits of the high integration of the US and Canadian economies …. and although he wants NAFTA reviewed and changed …  he made clear his real focus/concerns will be directed at Mexico.

Trudeau stood on guard for Canada and not only its industries and cross-border trade but also its values, its liberal values and its willingness to welcome refugees, including 37,000 from Syria.

Perhaps it was Trudeau’s refusal, when asked by a reporter to react to the US rejection of refugees, but Trump stood there and took the Prime Minister’s reiteration of Canada’s clearly different views …. and remarkably restrained his penchant for reacting rapidly and roughly when disagreed with or challenged.

And the US President said what many Canadians hoped he would: that his administration will work to EXPAND and SPEED UP northern border crossings  by goods, commerce … and people.

“ We understand that both of our countries are stronger when we join forces in matters of international commerce. Having more jobs and trade right here in North America is better for both the United States and is also much better for Canada. We should co-ordinate closely and we will co-ordinate closely to protect jobs in our hemisphere and keep wealth on our continent and to keep everyone safe,” Trump stated.

“I pledge to work with you in pursuit of our many shared interests. This includes a stronger trading relationship between the United States and Canada. It includes safe, efficient and responsible cross-border travel and migration,” the US President added.

And just in case Trump is unaware, Trudeau pointed out 35 U.S. states list Canada as their largest export market and our economies benefit from the over $2 billion in two-way trade that takes place every single day.

Knowing what we do about Trump, after watching their public exchanges, I did come away with the feeling Canadians can breathe easier and sleep better … at least somewhat … as Trump turns his trade tirades on others.

There’s no doubt American protectionism, nationalism, tax reductions, regulatory and and environmental reductions will pose some problems for Canadian businesses and industries … but not likely insurmountable ones.

The coming negotiations on softwood lumber , interestingly, will test that theory.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 72 CommentsTags: International · National