August 24, 2001

Interep released an analysis of seasonal ratings differences for various television programming genres.

While the buzz surrounding fall television premieres generally produces ratings bumps, the study confirms that ratings for top rated comedies, dramas and news/interviews shows decline as much as 50% during the summer months.

According to Michele Skettino, VP/Marketing Communications, "It is generally understood that television programming declines a bit in the summer months, when the majority of primetime shows offer repeats, and consumers spend more time outdoors and away from home. However, in the rapidly changing media landscape, it is important to revisit these assumptions periodically. In this case, the summer declines held true for the programs used in our analysis."


-- Among the comedy programs analyzed (Will & Grace, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Just Shoot Me, Becker) the average
ratings decline from Fall 2000 to Summer 2001 was 55%.

-- Among the drama programs analyzed (E.R., The Practice, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order) the average ratings decline was 51%.

-- Among the news/interview programs analyzed (60 Minutes, 48 Hours, 20/20 Friday, Dateline Friday) the average ratings
decline was 19%.

-- Radio generally sees no statistical difference in time spent listening or reach from season to season.

Skettino adds, "The key point of these findings is that for television advertisers who demand a year-round consistency of messages, the addition of radio to a media plan will help even out the seasonal bumps."

Note: The analysis looked at the average 4-week household ratings for each network program selected. Programs were selected based on overall ratings strength within their genre. For Fall 2000, analysis began with a program's premiere in October, and continued for the next 3 airings. For Summer 2001, the 4-week time frame stretched from June 25 through July 16.

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