Sweeping Up in Austin

Austin TV stations relied on stories on dirty restaurants, deadbeat landlords and even an interview with a death-row inmate to get viewers to tune in during the February “sweeps” period.

In the end, KXAN and KVUE came out on top, according to the latest Nielsen ratings.

ABC affiliate KVUE led the way mornings and at 10 p.m., while NBC affiliate KXAN was No. 1 middays and at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

KVUE has been a dominant force in the mornings for several years now, but the margin of victory was a bit narrower this time around. At 4:30 a.m., for example, the station essentially tied with Fox-owned KTBC.

Middays, KXAN took first place, edging out KVUE. KTBC was a close third. Barely 1,000 households separated the three stations.

KXAN continued to lead at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. in February, with its news team once again drawing a larger audience than the second- and third-place stations combined.

With an estimated 46,675 households tuned in, “KXAN News at 6” was the city’s most-watched newscast last month, regardless of time period.

In the late news race, KTBC was, as usual, the frontrunner at 9 p.m., while KVUE was No. 1 at 10 p.m.

Austin 360 has a complete breakdown of the numbers