CHCH goes neck-and-neck with the networks

A news-heavy schedule draws viewers to Hamilton's CHCH. The little station's supper-hour news is in a dead heat with Citytv and Global.

The champagne corks are popping at CHCH in Hamilton.

The local TV station, recently purchased for $12 by Channel Zero, has seen its supper-hour newscast become highly competitive this fall in nearby Toronto, the country’s biggest and most lucrative advertising market.

According to BBM Canada, CTV’s 6 p.m. newscast led all comers from Aug. 31 to Nov. 15 in total (2+) viewers with 283,000 on average, while CHCH has fought a three-horse race for second place with Citytv Toronto and Global Television.

Citytv averaged 134,000 viewers, followed by Global with 120,000 and CHCH with 115,000 viewers, BBM Canada reported.

The CBC lagged far behind the pack with 48,000 total viewers on average. This time last year, CHCH would on a typical night draw 67,000 to its news, with Deal or No Deal as its lead-in.

‘On any given day, week or month, those numbers would not surprise me. That’s an accurate reflection on how we do in the news,’ Channel Zero CEO Cal Miller said.

Miller said CHCH has been able to best Global and Citytv in certain periods and demos as it now ‘owns’ Mississauga and west of Toronto as part of its all-news daytime brand.

‘People are understanding our format and continuing to watch. The morning show has always been incredibly strong. The six and 11 o’clock newscasts are awesome,’ Miller added.

Channel Zero in September secured the broadcast license for money-losing CHCH from a debt-laden Canwest Global Communications Corp.

The ratings surge for CHCH newscasts also comes without US series lead-ins after the Hamilton station shed foreign shows and shifted to news by day and classic movies by night to entice local advertisers and audiences.

From Playback Daily