Global making gains in entertainment news

Broadcaster has a slight edge over competitor CTV for the entertainment news hour, while ET Canada trails etalk by merely 25,000 viewers.

There’s no clear frontrunner between Canadian entertainment news shows when it comes to delivering Canucks their daily dose of celebrity gossip, winter data reveals.

CTV’s etalk has a fragile lead over rival Entertainment Tonight Canada on Global, averaging 474,000 viewers compared to ET Canada’s 450,000 for the period Jan. 4 to mid-April, excluding the Olympic weeks. (All numbers 2+ unless otherwise indicated).

Still, Global has the upper hand for the complete 7 to 8 p.m. hour over its competitor when factoring in the popular US version of Entertainment Tonight. The combination of ET and ET Canada delivered an average 560,000 viewers for Global over the same timeframe, while CTV trails with 458,000 for its blend of etalk and Access Hollywood. (ET and ET Canada also lead in the key W25-54 demographic with 147,000 viewers compared to 111,000 for CTV’s shows).

ET Canada exec producer Tamara Simoneau credits the boost in Global’s entertainment news hour – which is up nearly 15% from this time last year – to a timeslot change in Toronto for ET and ET Canada, the latter of which now airs at 7:30 p.m. following the US version.

“It’s a big part of the reason, because ET starts off – a world-renowned show and the one that started the whole genre – and instantly the audience picks up that it’s now on at 7 p.m., so it’s a great lead-in,” she says, adding that Global flipped the shows in order to keep its US simulcast with CBS. “[It] just happened to be a great move as well,” Simoneau adds.

ET Canada also airs second in the Vancouver market, though not in Montreal and Calgary. Simoneau says no decision has been made to implement the change across the country, noting that Toronto and Vancouver are the biggest markets.

Media buyer Florence Ng of ZenithOptimedia agrees that Global has a bit of an edge over CTV because they retain the Entertainment Tonight brand throughout the early primetime hour.

ET Canada is now up against Access Hollywood, which is a relatively weaker show compared to the rest. The flip is a good thing because [Global] has ET providing a strong lead in for ET Canada, allowing [it] to stay away from etalk, which is the direct competition,” she observes.

Ng also believes the entertainment shows have been benefiting from BBM’s Portable People Meters “to a certain extent” because they are suited to co-viewing.

Apart from their family-friendly premise, Simoneau says the shows are an important part of Global’s evening schedule because they help set up the rest of the night and provide another platform to promote what’s coming up on the network. CTV executives were not available to comment for this story.

Meanwhile, CBC is tops among conventional channels in the 7 to 8 p.m. hour with its game show combo of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! with an average 962,000 and one million viewers respectively. The pubcaster uses the US shows to attract viewers to its mostly Canadian primetime schedule.

From Playback Daily