UPDATED BELOW. CTV announced today that they’ve won another season, their 10th in a row, in both total audience and the 25-54-year-old demo. That’s extraordinary–unprecedented across North America, except perhaps CBC’s monopoly in the ’50s and big head start throughout the ’60s. In the fiercely competitive TV business of today, CTV’s dominance is staggering.
Still, they had to skew their release to their advantage, but that is what this time of year is all about. CTV says they are up 9% year-to-year (discounting the Olympics), but helping goose that claim is the fact they’ve framed prime time as 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.–raking in all that ratings gold syndicated episodes of The Big Bang Theory delivered all season long as a 7:30 strip.
The Bang reruns were up two to three times what CTV was pulling in that timeslot the year earlier, so, yeah, the network was up overall. Frame the race from 8 to 11–true prime time by any industry yard stick–and CTV probably sits about even year-to-year.
The 7 p.m. thing also puts CBC second overall (although not in demos), thanks to Wheel and Jeopardy! Jeopardy! had a monster year, what with folks tuning in to see man vs. machine and a few brainiac hot streaks. But the public broadcaster has already gone on record that it is going to lose Jeopardy! after this coming season in order to cut down on imports. Trust me, they won’t be pulling 1.2 mil a night with Being Erica reruns in 2012-13.
CTV is happy to cast Global, of course, down to third place. It’s not true in the demos and not true 8 to 11 p.m.
[UPDATE: CTV says sure, take out 7-8 early prime hour and their ratings were flat for the season, but the rest of the story–everybody else down year-to-year and Global dipping below CBC–remains valid 8-11 p.m. Global SVP Barb Williams disputes this, suggesting anybody can spin numbers to win their argument and no fair counting Stanley Cup hockey heads.]
Interesting to note one of CTV’s best performers is a show CBS has canceled: S#*! My Dad Says.
Here’s Canada’s 2010-11 Top 10 according to CTV (based on BBM Canada data):

Total Viewers

1. THE BIG BANG THEORY (CTV) 3.18 million
2. AMERICAN IDOL (CTV) 2.83 million
3. GREY’S ANATOMY (CTV) 2.77 million
4. THE AMAZING RACE 17 & 18 (CTV) 2.73 million
5. CRIMINAL MINDS (CTV) 2.57 million
7. THE MENTALIST (CTV) 2.49 million
8. DANCING WITH THE STARS – PERF 11 & 12 (CTV) 2.44 million
9. $#*! MY DAD SAYS (CTV) 2.2 million
10. DANCING WITH THE STARS – RESULTS 11 & 12 (CTV) 2.09 million

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