If anti-Donald Trump activists have their way, Friday could be a boon for TV outlets not covering the President-elect’s inauguration.
Hoping to leverage ratings to register their opposition to a Trump presidency, advocates are calling on viewers to tune into anything but the inauguration, versus turning off their televisions altogether.
“Do not turn off your TV on inauguration day,” is the “call to action” making the rounds on digital media. “If you have a cable or satellite TV, they keep track of who is watching what. Instead of turning your TV off that day, turn all your TVs to other channels.”
The message, which is lighting up platforms from social media and websites to email, goes on to offer alternative viewing options—National Geographic Channel, Comedy Central and Discovery among them. It also tries to explain the basics of TV ratings and how not watching the inauguration can make a difference.
“If we turn off the TVs, it looks like a large majority of viewers tuned into (Trump). But if our TVs are tuned to other shows, the percentage drops,” it says. “For (Trump) to have low ratings and low percentage, it'll be a blow to his ego."
That said, it won’t be easy to avoid inaugural coverage altogether, with everyone from the networks and cable news channels, as well as local TV stations, going all-in. Washington stations alone will be up and running at 4 a.m. Friday, blanketing the airwaves and digital media with inaugural goings-on until at least 8 p.m.