Wednesday, June 14, 2006

OPEN CASE #1: SUMMER RATINGS

The ratings from last week are out and the season finale of Deal or No Deal, with a $5 million grand prize on the table, not only won its time slot--- it won the week. Number One show.

Now, granted, all it had to do was beat out the NBA finals, which finished number three and number five with some good numbers. And it beat out the Apprentice finale (it finished at seventh for the week), the usual summer reality shows, Game Show Marathon over on CBS, and the new drama Windfall on NBC (which finished thirteenth). Plus, there were all the reruns on every channel. Still, finishing first for the week is quite an accomplishment for Deal or No Deal, regardless of what time of the year it is. I'd say picking this show up was a great "deal" for NBC.

In fact, Howie Mandel is going around capitalizing on this show's hit status. The Canadian comedian was the star attraction at the Global TV upfront last week in Toronto, with his show presented as one of the network's jewels for the fall season. Mandel hosted a live Deal or No Deal game for the assembled press. The models with the suitcases were there, too. Life at the top is good.

Life at the bottom, though, is not so good. And here we talk about the NHL. It drew only 2.5 million die-hard American hockey fans for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals and got a humiliating 1.1 rating among viewers 18-49. CNN reported that even telenovelas on Univision beat hockey last Saturday! Now that's embarrassing.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Univision ratings are through the roof right now. They are showing the World Cup of Soccer which gets a big viewership from English speakers who normally don't bother with Spanish-language TV. These fans watch Univision because they love that these Spanish announcers really get into the action. They treat the World Cup as the big deal that it is, something you don't see from these baseball-obsessed English-language sportscasters. The fans may not understand the language, but they know for sure when a goal is scored.

"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!!"

Maybe Mike "Doc" Emrick over on NBC should try this out sometime on the NHL broadcasts, the ratings might improve.

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