As MTV's 'Skins' Ratings Trend Upward, The PTC Cranks Up The Nonsense

Categories: 1-Featured,Cable TV

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March 2nd, 2011

Perhaps it was the fact that MTV failed to back down when challenged, or that Skins ratings have begun to rebound from their lows of a few weeks ago, or maybe the Parent's Television Council fundraising needed a boost.

Whatever the reason, the PTC has launched another salvo MTV's way, this time by way of an email urging its supporters to contact Viacom (MTV's corporate parent) directly claiming that Skins is hurting its stock price.

Amusingly, the email is filled with complete nonsense (which The Hollywood Reporter failed to notice).

Here are some of the choicest bits of PTC nonsense:

By any objective standard, MTV’s Skins has been a resounding failure.

Hardly. This week's Skins 0.5 adults 18-49 rating is something FX's Terriers (past) and Lights Out (present) would love to have (or have had).

Audience numbers plummeted from an unspectacular but respectable for cable 3.3 million for the series premiere to fewer than a million the last two weeks.

Unspectacular? An audience of 3.3 million viewers for a cable show is big. Last week, out of about 16,000 cable programs, 67 had an audience larger than 3.3 million. The audience did decline to below a million, but this Monday's audience was 1.17 million.

The only viewers that have stuck around are the 12-17-year-olds MTV tried to claim were not the target audience for the show.

Wrong again. For Monday's show, approximately 658,000 of the 1.17 million viewers (56%) were between 18-49. And assuming all the rest are under 18 is unwise as well.

Though MTV is publicly standing by Skins, they are doing so at a cost.  The New York Post estimates that MTV is losing as much as $2 million per episode.

No way to know exactly how much Skins costs per episode, but $2 million is very expensive by scripted cable standards, and Skins is by all reports not a particularly expensive scripted cable show. Add to that the fact that each episode airs multiple times per week, and there's advertising in each show, and the claim that MTV is losing $2 million per episode is more nonsense.

Feel free to read the totality of the PTC nonsense here.

 
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