When the November 2013 sweeps wrap up at the end of the day on Wednesday, KUTV-Ch. 2 will once again declare victory in the late-news wars - and pretty much across the board.
But the late-news battle is much closer than it was a year ago. Not so much because Ch. 2's competitors did better, but because KUTV's audience shrank significantly.
With one night left in the four-week sweeps period, here's how the late-news numbers stack up.
1. KUTV-Ch. 2: 9.6 rating/21 share
2. KSL-Ch. 5: 7.0 rating/15 share
3. KSTU-Ch. 13: 4.4 ratings/9 share
4. KTVX-Ch. 4: 2.9 rating/6 share
A ratings point represent 1 percent of the 917,370 homes Nielsen estimates are in the Salt Lake television market; a share point represents 1 percent of the homes where someone is actually watching TV at a given time.
Clearly, KUTV continues as the No. 1 news station in the market. And it's not just ahead in late news, it also leads in the morning, at midday, in late afternoon and in early evening newscasts.
But the late-news numbers represent a steep slide overall for local TV news ratings, from a combined 29.7 ratings points in November 2012 to a combined 23.9 rating points in November 2013.
That's a drop of nearly 20 percent.
There are some questions about Nielsen's sampling this time around - viewing levels are down across the country. And good weather tends to translate into lower ratings. But there's no easy answer.
KSL-Ch. 5 is the only station to see any kind increase, ticking up 0.2 rating points (3 percent). KUTV-Ch. 2 is down 3.1 rating points (24 percent); KSTU-Ch. 13 is down 1.5 rating points (25 percent); and KTVX-Ch. 4 is down 1.4 rating points (33 percent).
Remember, these numbers do not include the final day of sweeps - Wednesday, Nov. 27. And they are just household ratings; they do not include any of the demographic information stations use to sell advertising.
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