KATV news continues to win almost all time slots, according to the just-released July Nielsen Audience Estimates.
Any look at these results should come with the disclaimer that July ratings are generally considered by most industry insiders to be the least important of the four ratings periods each year. That’s due to summer vacations, which impact how many people are home watching TV.
The 6 p.m. local news generates the biggest news audience of the day when you total central Arkansas’ three stations: KATV Channel 7, KARK Channel 4 and KTHV Channel 11. The combined audience for the 6 p.m. news totals 24 rating points, which is roughly equivalent to 24 percent of the population. Those three stations control a 52 percent share, or 52 percent of all people watching TV in the time periods cited. That means at 6 p.m., more people are watching local news than all other shows combined.
KATV is the clear winner at 6 p.m., with a 13.2 rating and 28.7 share. That is more than the two other newscasts combined: KARK has a 5.7 rating/12.5 share and KTHV has a 5.1 rating/11.1 share.
The race is closer for the next highest rated news slot, the 10 p.m. news, when the three combined have a 19 rating and 50 share. Again, KATV wins, but the margin is closer. KATV is No. 1 with an 8.1 rating/21.3 share, followed by KTHV with a 6.9 rating/18.1 share, and KARK trails with a 4.0 rating/10.6 share.
Rankings for the other newscasts look like this, in order of audience size:
- 5 p.m. local news — KATV is No. 1, followed by KARK and then KTHV
- 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. — KATV is No. 1, followed by KTHV, and KARK is last.
- 5 a.m. – 6 a.m. (early news) — KTHV wins this time slot, followed by KATV and then KARK.
KATV News Director Nick Genty is obviously pleased with the outcome, winning all but one of the heads-up time periods.
“We are honored that Arkansans continue to make KATV their source for news, weather and sports,” he said. He pointed out the growing trend of news departments providing content on a variety of platforms, including social media. “We know our viewers are expecting to find information on all platforms,” he added.
Local TV and Social Media
A look at social media numbers show KATV is a winner in those comparisons as well. These numbers are based on visiting their sites this week.
KATV leads all local stations on both Facebook and Twitter.
KATV has 249,722 Facebook “likes,” followed closely by KARK with 235,045; KTHV with 170,301; and Fox 16 with 131,642.
It’s interesting to note that KARK may be second when it comes to Facebook likes, but that does not convert to being second in news viewers. It’s generally audience size that drives TV revenue, not social media followers.
On Twitter, KATV also leads with 71,900 followers, followed by KARK with 65,000; KTHV with 59,200 and KLRT with 38,500 followers.
Many experts say the social media platforms are a good way to engender viewer loyalty and share an online conversation with viewers, but it’s still the on-air product that determines what station is actually winning. As one source said, “You can’t take those Facebook likes to the bank.”
And just to put all of this in perspective, none of these newscasts deliver as big a TV audience in Little Rock according to the Nielsen numbers as the syndicated game show, “Wheel of Fortune.” During the July rating period, the game show, which airs at 6:30 p.m., did a 15 rating/33.1 share. That’s a lot of people watching contestants buying vowels.