Al Jazeera America launched last week, and we have the ratings from Nielsen for its first few days.
Not surprisingly given the low-rated channel it replaced (Current TV), and the fact that it lost a few million homes from AT&T before launch (it is currently in just over 40 million homes), AJAM’s launch ratings were pretty low by traditional cable news standards.
The highest rated show on AJAM last week was the Thursday evening edition of “Real Money with Ali Velshi,” which drew 54,000 total viewers.
The 2 PM Saturday edition of “News Live” averaged 48,000 viewers, while “Inside Story” Thursday at 12:30 PM averaged 41,000 viewers. “News Live” Thursday from 12-12:30 averaged 40,000. The debut edition of “The Stream” on Tuesday averaged 38,000 viewers, below Nielsen’s accuracy threshold, while the debut of “America Tonight” averaged 34,000 viewers.
The launch hour, which was Tuesday afternoon at 3 PM, and featured a preview of what was to come on the channel, averaged 22,000 viewers, below Nielsen’s minimum accuracy threshold. In other words, Nielsen says it cannot accurately count how many people watched it, and the number it gives is essentially a rough guess. This is also called “scratching.”
We do not have the adults 25-54 numbers, but given the total viewer numbers, one can surmise that they scratched.
We will be keeping our eyes on AJAM, which will be rated on a 24-hour basis starting this week. Last week’s ratings were still classified as being on Current TV.