Oprah Winfrey’s “big get” interview with Lance Armstrong ran relatively poorly in Western New York.
The 90-minute program averaged a 1.8 rating on cable’s OWN, meaning 1.8 percent of WNY households tuned in to Armstrong’s confessional.
The good news is the viewership stayed constant throughout the program. A repeat at 10:30 p.m. averaged a .6 rating (that’s a point six), which is about one third of the original broadcast.
Of course, those ratings are impressive by local OWN standards. After all, it is carried on the 100 tier of digital cable locally. (It is on Channel 105).
But the audience for Armstrong was small by comparison to the broadcast network offerings Thursday. The Armstrong interview got about one-fifth of the rating for Fox’s “American Idol” on WUTV and CBS’ “Person of Interest” on Channel 4, about a quarter of the size of “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC and about half of the rating for NBC’s “The Office” and “1600 Penn.”
I’m a little surprised by the low local rating for Armstrong because it had a lot of traffic on Twitter.
Nationally, the first airing of the Armstrong interview reached 3.2 million viewers, making it the highest-rated weekday program in OWN history. It didn’t beat a Winfrey interview with the family of Whitney Houston on March 11. 2012, which aired on a Sunday and remains the top-viewed program in OWN history.
In another bit of ratings news, the debut of Jordan Williams, Channel 4’s new “Wake Up!” co-anchor alongside Diana Fairbanks, shows how much ground the station needs to make up in the morning competition with Channel 2’s “Daybreak” team of John Beard and Melissa Holmes.
At 6 a.m. Thursday, Channel 2 (7.1) almost held a 3-1 lead over Channel 4 (2.7), which actually saw its audience decrease from 5 a.m. (where it tied Channel 2).
The Buffalo Sabres season hasn”t started yet, and WBBZ-TV is already thinking baseball. The independent station that is available on Channel 67 over the air and on cable, satellite and FiOS announced this afternoon that it will carry 21 New York Yankee games in the upcoming season. The first game is April 12 — which is less than three months away — against the Baltimore Orioles.