Writers Strike Starts, 1988-like Ratings Drop Too?

Categories: TV Business,WGA Strike

Written By

November 2nd, 2007

wga3.jpgUPDATE: The strike has begun. It's interesting to look at the viewership trends in primetime broadcast television since the last writers strike in 1988.

Primetime Broadcast Network Viewers 1952-2007

Obviously, the writers strike isn't the only thing that caused the decline in viewership, and only time will tell what happens this go 'round, but it's not going to be positive for the industry if the strike lasts very long.

 
  • Robert Seidman

    I’m typically not one who finds value in unions, but this may be the exception. The writers got hosed in the current deal as far as DVD revenues. Apparently the actors and directors did too. According to this story in the Washington Post, the writers, actors and directors receive a combined $.20 per DVD sale. The manufacturers of the packaging material get $.50! Studios, networks and I suppose Best Buy are making a killing on titles that do well.

    If the reporting in the Post is accurate, I definitely side with the writers.

  • Robert Seidman

    I’m typically not one who finds value in unions, but this may be the exception. The writers got hosed in the current deal as far as DVD revenues. Apparently the actors and directors did too. According to this story in the Washington Post, the writers, actors and directors receive a combined $.20 per DVD sale. The manufacturers of the packaging material get $.50! Studios, networks and I suppose Best Buy are making a killing on titles that do well.

    If the reporting in the Post is accurate, I definitely side with the writers.

  • Mark

    Anyone know if there is actually a decline in total TV viewership? I see in this graph that there's a decline in ABC, CBS and NBC. I'm guessing that the sum total of all broadcast + cable is at least the same if not more since then. But I'm curious if TV viewership is actually up or if computer and video games or other entertainment have been taking a bite out of it.

  • Bill Gorman

    Mark,

    Here's a chart of overall household viewing patterns. Until recently overall viewing time was trending up.

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/10/18/overall-tv

    And here's a chart of the broadcast networks trends over time, including share. It's been headed down for quite some time.

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/08/28/primetime-

  • Mark

    Anyone know if there is actually a decline in total TV viewership? I see in this graph that there’s a decline in ABC, CBS and NBC. I’m guessing that the sum total of all broadcast + cable is at least the same if not more since then. But I’m curious if TV viewership is actually up or if computer and video games or other entertainment have been taking a bite out of it.

  • Bill Gorman

    Mark,

    Here’s a chart of overall household viewing patterns. Until recently overall viewing time was trending up.

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/10/18/overall-tv-viewing-flattens-primetime-declines/

    And here’s a chart of the broadcast networks trends over time, including share. It’s been headed down for quite some time.

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/08/28/primetime-broadcast-network-viewer-trends/

  • dsg

    I'm thinking about uploading that chart to a wikipedia article. Would you mind? Thanks

  • dsg

    I’m thinking about uploading that chart to a wikipedia article. Would you mind? Thanks

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Fine with me.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Fine with me.

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