ABC blackout coverage lacked power


ABC was third in households and fourth in 18-49s with its coverage of the
biggest blackout in the nation’s history Aug. 14.

Unlike the other broadcast networks, ABC decided to pull the plug on its
regular prime time and continue covering the blackout throughout the evening,
including on its regularly scheduled PrimeTime Live from 10 p.m.-11 p.m. The move
cost ABC eyeballs, in part because those most likely to want to follow the
coverage -- victims of the blackout -- were the same people who most likely couldn’t
see it.

ABC had been second in households and third in the demos the week before with
a bloopers special, Extreme Makeover and PrimeTime Live.

CBS won the night with a 7.0 rating/13 share in households on the strength of
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Without a Trace and Amazing Race.

NBC was second with a 5.8/10 with Friends, Scrubs, Will
& Grace
and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

ABC was third with a 5.1/9, and Fox came in fourth with a 4.1/7 for a National Football League
preseason game.