Since DTV Switch, ABC Reaching Fewer Households

By Andrew Gauthier 


ABC has a 1% problem.

Alphabet execs are trying to figure out why, according to Nielsen, their network can now be found in just 97% of U.S. TV households — below CBS, NBC and even Fox.

All four major networks lost a bit of their nationwide coverage following the digital TV transition. Before the summer switchover, the nets’ programs regularly cleared 99% of the country — which pretty much reps everyone but a few really rural pockets of the country.

After the switchover, with a few TV owners opting not to convert to digital, that number dropped for everyone — but while CBS, NBC and Fox eventually recovered to 98% coverage, ABC still hasn’t. And no one seems to know why.

“It’s bizarre,” said ABC research chief Charles Kennedy. “Normally people don’t get too excited about a 1% change… (and) we’re not crying over spilled milk here, but there’s a little more milk we could be lapping up. That’s an extra 1% that is not being monetized by us.” More…