ABC, NBC PR Departments Squabble Over Ratings

The competition heats up.

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Here’s an interesting comms tibit from the never-ending battle over ratings between America’s top networks: ABC and NBC.

As Politico noted last week, NBC recently began re-broadcasting its “Nightly News” in certain markets between 2 and 4 AM; the network did not announce the decision publicly but responded to press queries by saying that it simply wanted to “reach our audience when and how they want to be reached.”

NBC made the decision back in February, not in response to the Brian Williams suspension but because ABC had begun inching closer to its ratings (for context, NBC has beaten ABC in total viewers every week since Sept. 2009).

Now check out the press release ABC sent out to media contacts today, emphasis ours:

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“NOTE: NBC’s stated averages include both its 6:30 p.m. E.T. airings and re-broadcasts…NBC News has not publicly stated the markets in which the re-airs occur nor how many additional viewers they are claiming as a result.”


In other NBC news, the network has yet to confirm whether Lester Holt will take over for Williams, who made his first public appearance since the controversy broke by attending a fund-raiser for his New Jersey high school over the weekend.