Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The O’Reilly Fracture

Keith Olbermann’s Countdown has reached a milestone that many thought was out of reach. After getting a boost from an airing during the pre-season football broadcast on NBC a couple of weeks ago, Countdown has burst into a real competition with its nemesis, The O’Reilly Factor.

The highpoint of the week for Olbermann was Friday when he bested O’Reilly in the 25-54 demo by 39,000 viewers. But the trend has been heading this way for a while. On Thursday, O’Reilly took the hour, but Olbermann had won the first half (Countdown: 408K - Factor: 373K). An average of all airings for the shows for the week gave O’Reilly a lead of just 11.7K demo viewers. A year ago O’Reilly was clobbering Olbermann by 279K. Are the walls closing in around you Billy?

The first full week after Olbermann’s NBC appearance, Countdown spiked 17% over its 2nd quarter 2007 average. This week that bump is 37%, so there is no evidence that this train is losing speed. The Factor, on the other hand, is still under-performing its 2nd quarter average by 16%. O’Reilly is quickly becoming the Little Train That Couldn’t.

A key point in this victory is that, while last week’s success was achieved with O’Reilly on vacation, this week Bill was on duty and he still got his loofah handed to him. Also, for the record, Olbermann appeared during halftime on the Saints-Colts game Thursday which might have given him an extra push on Friday. And the week was shortened by the Labor Day holiday (Countdown did not air on Monday but O’Reilly did. The Factor pulled in just 329K which was its 2nd worst number for the week).

News Corpse Blog » The O’Reilly Fracture: Countdown To Victory Edition