TV ratings: Market still belongs to CTV

Fall 2013 TV ratings

Market share for 6pm weeknight newscasts among Montreal’s three English-language television stations

Its competitors might be expanding their local programming, but CTV Montreal isn’t exactly quaking in its boots. Ratings released this week by BBM Canada show CFCF with huge leads in its local newscasts in all time slots.

For the flagship newscast at 6pm, CTV has a 58% market share among adults, which not only puts it far ahead of its competitors, but means that there are more Montreal anglos watching CTV News at 6 than there are watching everything else on television combined during that hour. It’s hard to beat ratings like that. As I mention in a story in The Gazette, the local newscast has more viewers than even the most popular CTV primetime program, The Big Bang Theory.

CBC, the closest competitor, can barely be described as such. With a 5.5% share, it has one tenth of the viewers of CTV at 6. Global is even further behind with a 2% share and only 4,100 adult viewers, which I would describe as less than its previous numbers but that might have more to do with statistical error than an actual drop in audience (I’d also be comparing 18+ and 2+ audience, and might be missing the thousands of teenage viewers to Global Montreal’s newscast).

CTV’s dominance is also unshakable at noon (52% share), weekends at 6 (46% share) and late night (37% share).

CBC added weekend newscasts in 2012, and then later expanded the late-night newscast from 10 to 30 minutes. The Saturday 6pm newscast has a 5.3% share, comparable with its weeknight newscast. The late-night newscast has a 3.5% share.

If either station wants to seriously challenge CFCF for viewers, there’s still a very long road ahead for them.

The BBM numbers above represent measurements taken via written diaries on Oct. 18-31 and Nov. 8-21, 2012, during which all three stations’ newscasts presented special reports. The next measurement of local English television will be taken in February and March, and released on May 7. At that point we should have an idea of how Global’s new morning show is doing early on, and whether it has started eating away at the 41% market share held by Canada AM.

16 thoughts on “TV ratings: Market still belongs to CTV

  1. William

    I am curious to know how well CBMT does in the ratings from 5pm to 6pm. I usually watch CBMT at 5pm and switch to CFCF at 6pm.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I am curious to know how well CBMT does in the ratings from 5pm to 6pm.

      I don’t have exact numbers for this ratings period, but it actually does better at 5pm than it does at 6pm, likely because of people like you who will watch it when it doesn’t compete with CFCF. Unfortunately CBC still focuses on that 6pm half-hour, annoyingly teasing stories with “more on this story at six o’clock”

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Is there any other market in Canada with such disproportionate numbers?

      Montreal is abnormally disproportionate, mainly because it lasted so long with only one private station. I don’t have local data for other markets, but I don’t know of any that are quite as one-sided as this one. There are certainly powerhouses in various markets, and it varies by region (Global is strong in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, while CTV dominates most of the rest of the country, while CBC captures markets like Charlottetown where it’s the only local station).

    2. matt

      Global is #1 in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and they do alright in Regina and Toronto from what i have heard. In Vancouver Global BC’s Morning News gets more viewers then CTV News at 6.

        1. Kevin

          Ah the great affiliation swap.
          The funniest consequence was when people wanted to critique the owners of the stations, and one group actually came to CTV Vancouver with a mocking trophy intended for the Global-owner Asper family.
          We pulled out a map and showed them where to go :)

  2. alfred neumann

    CTV Ottawa also has massive domination over CBC which is the only competitor left now that CTV owns A-Channel (ctv2)

  3. Mimo

    That looks about the same as here in Ottawa. CTV completely dominates here. CBC Ottawa is the only other local news choice at 6.

  4. Patti

    In other breaking news, the sun is discovered rising from the east and climate scientists have proven that weather arrives on earth from the skies above.

  5. William

    CBC needs an edgy commentary person. Everyone loves to watch a good rant. A 2 min segment 2-3 times per week.

    Maybe I’ll even apply!

  6. Dimmi

    Proud to be one of the 4100 viewers of Global in Montreal. Their reporters work a story far more than CFCF has in twenty years.

  7. Michael D

    Well, no surprise here. They’ve been no. 1 and leaving the competition hanging in the airwaves since 1961…
    CBC had a good supper newscast during the Dennis Trudeau years…and then those cutbacks really hurt…The 5 o’clock experiment seems to be successful and good for the many folks that maybe go out for supper around 6 or when I go to a hockey game, that’s the time I leave..Maybe they should concentrate on continuing their quality work and just do a 5 to 6 show. and then at 6,maybe The National newscast or maybe a hard-hitting local Newsmagazine show a la CFCF’s As IT Is or On Assignment..

    As for Global, not getting financial support from the head office is the problem..They have good talent.It was a good for them to poach Camille Ross from CTV, which gives it some credibility along with the steady hand of Richard Dagenais..but for the morning show to succeed, and the Gazette story does seem to suggest that, they really will need to concentrate on Community stuff, if I remember reading somewhere, maybe interview the local winners of a hockey league or maybe a local entertainer who might have wowed the crowds at a school or community concert..

    Then you could guarantee the relatives, friends, classmates, etc.watching somebody they know on TV..this doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that angle..And Global should go in that direction as it seems Rogers’ City Show will go heavily on that direction..

  8. Radical Ronald

    119,000 viewers? … They had over 3 times as many when Mutsumi first started anchoring. Your story should have been that people don’t watch TV news much anymore.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Your story should have been that people don’t watch TV news much anymore.

      Except that the show has a market share above 50% and is the top-rated show on television in English Montreal. Maybe fewer people are watching television overall, but those who are watching TV are still watching the news.


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