It has been a bad day for DirecTV. First, its subscriber growth was lower than it predicted, then it got sued by Comcast for its slimy advertising practices. Now, Variety reports that hardly anyone watched the July 13 premiere of Damages. The numbers were so tiny, DirecTV wouldn’t even reveal how many people watched the initital telecast, saying only that over a million people watched the combined first four telecasts of the premiere in the Live+7 ratings.
DirecTV said that was better than the premiere of the final season of Friday Night Lights that drew just over 900,000 in the L+7 ratings, but Variety notes that Damages is a lot more expensive to make than Friday Night Lights was. Though Variety didn’t note it, I’d add that more importantly Damages is much more expensive for DirecTV. The Friday Night Lights deal was not an exclusive to DirecTV (all the episodes ultimately aired on NBC too), but Damages is exclusive to DirecTV.