KUTV-Channel 2 proclaims itself Utah’s No. 1 news channel. KSTU-Channel 13 tells viewers it’s No. 1 in local news.

They can’t both be right, can they?

Well … actually … they can — depending on how and when you measure viewership.

According to Nielsen, during the recently completed May sweeps, more households tuned in to Channel 2 newscasts whenever they aired — early morning, midday, early evening and late night.

If you add up the household numbers for all the newscasts, Fox 13 has the advantage because it airs more newscasts. KSTU produces 10½ hours of local news each weekday; KUTV airs 6½ hours. (That’s not counting KUTV news programs that air on sister stations KJZZ and KMYU.)

And, you could easily argue, household numbers don’t much matter to the stations themselves. They sell advertising based on key demographics — viewers ages 18-49 and 25-54, and, to a lesser extent, 35-64.

Channel 13 is the clear leader in viewers 18-49 and 25-54 throughout the morning; it’s more competitive in 35-64s. Channel 2 is the overall demos leader at midday. At 5 p.m., Channel 2 leads in 25-54s and KSL-Channel 5 in 18-49s; Channel 5 leads in both at 6 p.m.

And here’s how the late news numbers (9 p.m. for Fox 13; 10 p.m. for KUTV, KSL and KTVX-Channel 4) broke down during the May 2018 sweeps:

Households • 1. Channel 2 — 6.024 rating; 57,200 homes; 2. Channel 5 — 5.094 rating; 48,300 homes; 3. Channel 13 — 3.422 rating; 32,700 homes; 4. Channel 4 — 2.128 rating; 20,200 homes

Viewers 18-49 • 1. Channel 5 — 1.391 rating; 2. Channel 13 — 1.195; 3. Channel 2 — 0.872; 4. Channel 4 — 0.495

Viewers 25-54 • 1. Channel 5 — 1.738; 2. Channel 13 — 1.613; 3. Channel 2 — 1.586; 4. Channel 4 — 0.609

(If you add the 10 p.m. KMYU simulcast to the KUTV number, it’s 1.723 — a virtual tie for first.)

Viewers 35-64 • 1. Channel 5 — 3.009; 2. Channel 2 — 2.645; 3. Channel 13 — 2.319; 4. Channel 4 — 1.044

(Adding the KMYU simulcast to KUTV’s totals 2.927 is, again, a near-tie for first.)

The audience for late-night local newscasts continues to slide in the Salt Lake City area TV market — which includes all of Utah and parts of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming — just as it does nationally.

Overall, the number of households was down 3½ percent compared with the November 2017 sweeps. Channel 2 was up 4 percent; Channel 13 was off 1 percent; Channel 4 was down 7 percent; and Channel 5 declined 11 percent.

But, again, household numbers — while a perfectly legitimate indication of what the most-watched newscast is — don’t figure into the bottom line. Advertising is what matters to local TV stations, which is why demographics are what counts.