May TV News Ratings For Anchorage Are Out…And Things Have Changed


The latest Nielsen ratings for local television news stations show the revamped KTVA not just stalled in its quest to compete with longtime ratings dominant KTUU, but actually losing ground.

The ratings come from May sweeps—one of the four times a year when Nielsen measures television audiences. In those ratings, KTUU continued its long string of dominance in TV news over local competitors.KTUU logo

In 2013, local cable TV and data communications company GCI spent millions to buy and upgrade KTVA, in both technology and on-air talent, to compete with KTUU. Three years later, KTVA still dramatically trails KTUU across the board.

Both stations offer news products at 6 – 7 a.m., 5 – 5:3ktva-logo-00 p.m., 6 – 7 p.m., and 10 – 10:30 p.m. on weekdays. In all cases, KTUU received ratings upwards of triple those of KTVA, and in many cases the margin was substantially wider than that.

When it comes to the morning news programs, it appears KTUU’s addition of MJ Thim to their Morning Edition has been a great success. The program posted almost a 25% ratings bump, going from a 42 share to a 52 share.

Nielsen Ratings

Nielsen Ratings

At the same time KTVA’s Daybreak dropped from a 9 share to a 7 share.

In the evening, KTUU did well across the board: their 5 o’Clock Report with Rebecca Palsha, the 6 p.m. Newshour, and 10 p.m. Late Edition all held or increased their ratings from over a year ago.

KTVA went in the opposite direction; their 5 p.m. First Take and 6 p.m. Evening News, and 10 p.m. Nightcast all dropped by multiple share points, with Evening News suffering a loss of over half it’s audience, dropping from a 7 share to a 3 share.

This set of ratings reverses what had been a common theme since the KTVA relaunch in 2013: KTVA making slow but steady progress in closing their massive ratings gap with KTUU.

It is generally a mistake to place too much importance on any one set of tv or radio ratings. Trends tend to be more important than a snapshot in time. These ratings are troubling for KTVA, however, because they lag so far behind KTUU that they need to make progress, even small progress, every single ratings cycle if they ever hope to approach competitiveness.

At this point, KTUU is still hands-down the market leader and it isn’t close. With KTVA no longer making up ground and with GCI’s investment now almost three years behind them, they have to be wondering if the current path will ever get them there.

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