Sun papers are today claiming that Sun TV host Ezra Levant “smoked the competition” when he interviewed author Mark Steyn last Wednesday.
Ratings agency BBM says the interview, on Levant’s show The Source, had 64,000 viewers at 5:00 p.m. ET and 89,000 viewers at 10:00 p.m., for a combined audience of 153,000 viewers.
On the same day, CTV News Channel had 59,000 viewers at 5:00 p.m. and 41,000 at 10:00 p.m.
Oddly, there was no mention of comparative numbers versus CBC News Network, the “state broadcaster” in Sun parlance.
I have half-hourly breakdowns from BBM for CBC. They show CBC’s Power and Politics drew 57,000 average viewers between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. that night, and 70,000 from 5:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m. — an average for 63,500 over the hour, same as Levant.
In the 10:00 p.m., time slot, CBC averaged 90,000 viewers over the hour, compared to Levant’s 89,000 — so, bang on. In that time slot, CBC was running:
- Passionate Eye – I Shouldn’t Be Alive: Shattered on Impact, Ep. 3
- Miraculous survival story of four men who must overcome severe injuries, hostile conditions, and wild animals when their plane crashes in the Zambian wilderness. Ep. 3/5
With the U.S. debt crisis leading coverage, CNN outperformed all Canadian news nets, with 83,000 at 5 p.m. and 102,000 at 10 p.m.
Now, as anyone in the broadcast industry will tell you, summer books are next to worthless. But I’m surprised the Sun didn’t trumpet its brief parity that night with CBC.
Levant’s numbers — juked as they may be that night by heavy promotion of a high-profile guest — should be worrying to other nets.
Other numbers from a week in June show Levant in the 30,000 to 46,000 viewer range at 5 p.m, a strong performance given that his show costs peanuts to produce, compared to Power and Politics and Don Martin’s Powerplay in the same slot.
As I’ve said to people eagerly predicting Sun TV’s demise, there is an appetite for what they’re selling.