Monday, July 21, 2008

Those Canadian Y&R Ratings

Roger Newcomb has a bit at a recent blog that suggests that Y&R beat the usually-hot Canadian Idol in the ratings last week. The source BBM ratings are here.

An interesting figure is that Y&R had 896,000 viewers, which was EIGHTH PLACE (of ALL TV shows!). Canada has 33,390,141 residents. The US has 301,139,947 residents, or about nine times as many residents.

Using this to pro-rate the Canadian figures, it implies that the equivalent number in the US would be 8,081,024...slightly less than double the number of counted viewers in the US.

WOW.

I've posted before about the importance of later timeslots internationally, and specifically how Canada got to have a late broadcast, but I am stunned by these numbers.

Canada and the US are different (as a Canadian-American, I should know)...but not THAT different. The lifestyles are not THAT different. Can only timeslot explain the difference?

Here is my hypothesis: I think BECAUSE of the timeslot (after work), Y&R is much more woven into the fabric of Canada. People actually TALK about it at family gatherings and what have you. (They sure do in my extended clan).

Could a soap ever do this in the US? I sure wish I knew what it would take....

One possibility is not the network affiliates...let's face it, they want those Oprah/news hours.

But I don't understand why Soapnet isn't using this potentially lucrative period of 4-7 pm? That is the "money" hour for soaps in many European countries and Canada.

Right now, Soapnet fills the 4-7 slot with One Tree Hill and its' ilk.

They ought to try AMC, OLTL, and GH at 4, 5 and 6. Then, again as they do now Y&R, AMC, OLTL, GH, and Days sometimes) from 7-12. What I'd like to know if, with that experiment, the soaps pull in better numbers than the kiddie shows they're now airing.

The only thing I can't figure out is whether this is purely that the later timeslot works. How much of the success in Canada and Europe is in fact CULTURAL (i.e., in other lands the family sits down together)?

If the timeslot is the fix, why wouldn't the networks try to work it out? SON's UKBoi has this sad speculation:

The thing is, US TV execs are ashamed of the soap genre, while in other countries soap operas are the most watched shows and have the best wriitng, acting and production values; they're given the best timeslots and lots of promotion, the TV execs are determined to make the genre thrive...whereas in the US, it's a genre they seemingly want to kill (especially the P&G shows and NBC)
Could this really be true?

1 comment:

soapviewer said...

I think the Canadian viewers are so lucky to be able to watch Y&R a day ahead of us in US. That would be awesome! Thanks for the informative article :)