O-Town Ratings Race Will be a Nail Biter

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As we enter into the very important May Book, one ratings race that promises to be a close one is in the Orlando Market.

Just look at the numbers from April and you can see just how close it is.

April ratings show how tight the race for Central Florida viewers has become and how the competition is challenging longtime leader WFTV-Channel 9.

The numbers in this story, unless otherwise noted, reflect viewers in the 25-to-54 age group, which is most important to news advertisers.

In the April ratings period that ended Wednesday, WESH-Channel 2 and WOFL-Channel 35 overtook WFTV in the 5 p.m. half-hour. (But WFTV was ahead of WOFL at 5:30.)

WESH was tops at 5 and 5:30 and came close to WFTV at 6. WESH was also reaching the most 25-to-54 viewers with its 4 p.m. newscast.

WKMG-Channel 6 surpassed WFTV at noon, and WKMG notched another victory at 11 p.m.CBS prime time, with "The Big Bang Theory" and NCAA basketball, certainly helped WKMG. The Fox schedule bolstered WOFL, which remained the leader in 10 p.m. news.

It was not all gloom for WFTV: The ABC affiliate continued at No. 1 in morning news and at 6 p.m. Yet 6 p.m. was close, with WFTV drawing 31,500 viewers to WESH's 30,600, WOFL's 19,500 and WKMG's 12,600.

WFTV still has a big piece of the pie in total viewers, but the game these days is based the 25-to-54 age group.

In the 5 p.m. half-hour, WESH set the pace with 26,900 viewers to WOFL's 18,100 (for the hour), WFTV's 16,600 and WKMG's 8,400.

At 11 weeknights, WKMG averaged 28,100 viewers to WFTV's 26,600, WESH's 26,000 and WOFL's 18,600.

At 10 weeknights, WOFL averaged 25,100 viewers to the WESH news on sister station WKCF-Channel 18 (with 11,200 viewers) and the WFTV news on sister station WRDQ-Channel 27 (8,700).

At 6 a.m., WFTV pulled ahead with 25,300 viewers to WESH's 14,600, WKMG's 12,500 and WOFL's 10,200. WESH picked up an additonial 1,900 viewers through a simulcast on WKCF.

In households, the former way of measuring the market, WFTV had some big leads. At 6 p.m., for instance, WFTV was seen in 107,300 homes to WESH's 78,400, WKMG's 33,000 and WOFL's 32,800.

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