Did the Winter Olympics put NBC affiliate WESH-Channel 2 on a path to stronger ratings?
In February with the Olympics, WESH won late news and tied WFTV-Channel 9 at 6 p.m.
In March without the Olympics, WESH edged WFTV at 5 p.m. and was a strong second at 6 p.m.
The March ratings period ended Wednesday, and the WESH-WFTV rivalry stood out as the main news. The numbers in this story, unless otherwise noted, are based on the 25-to-54 age group, which is most important to news advertisers.
WFTV was the leader in that age group in early morning, at noon and at 11 p.m.
But WESH handily beat WFTV at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. weekdays, WESH averaged 22,600 viewers and overtook WFTV with 22,300. WOFL-Channel 35 drew 14,400 for its hour news. WKMG-Channel 6 drew 10,100.
By 5:30, WFTV with 25,900 viewers reclaimed the lead from WESH with 24,200.
At 6 p.m., it was a two-way race between WFTV with 31,700 viewers and WESH with 30,100. WKMG averaged 13,500 viewers, and WOFL had 12,000. (At 6 p.m., WFTV had the greatest reach. It was being seen in 115,900 homes to WESH's 76,800, WKMG's 45,800 and WOFL's 32,400.)
In prime time, CBS affiliate WKMG averaged the most viewers (122,800) and topped ABC affiliate WFTV (116,500). Receiving less help from prime time were NBC affiliate WESH (87,700 viewers, way down from the Olympics) and Fox-owned WOFL (69,600). (WOFL has a content-sharing agreement with the Orlando Sentinel.)
But WFTV with ABC's "Modern Family," "Scandal," "Dancing With the Stars" and the Academy Awards had the schedule most popular with the 25-to-54 age group. A strong prime time can boost a late newscast.
At 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, WFTV averaged 31,900 viewers. In a tight race for second, WKMG pulled in 27,900 to WESH's 27,800. WOFL averaged 20,500 with its Monday-Friday news at 11.
At 10 p.m., WOFL was the leader with 22,700 viewers. It was well ahead of the WFTV news on sister station WRDQ-Channel 27 with 10,000 and the WESH news on sister station WKCF-Channel 18 with 7,500.
WOFL showed strength in the morning when "Good Day Orlando" ran second from 7 to 9 a.m. to ABC's "Good Morning America." At 9, "Good Day Orlando" was first with the 25-to-54 age group.
But WFTV was the leader at 6 a.m., when it averaged 27,300 viewers in the age group to WESH's 21,500. (The WESH news was seen by an additional 3,500 in a simulcast on sister station WKCF.) WOFL averaged 11,300, and WKMG had 8,400.Copyright © 2015, CT Now