Monday, August 31, 2009

Nielsen Market Size Rankings Out

Austin Bumps Up

Does your beloved Austin feel a little bigger broadcasting-wise? Does there seem to be more stress and angst among the local television stations—more dog-eat-dog competition for a piece of the pie? There is.

The Austin DMA (Designated Market Area) bumped one notch from 2009 to 2010 in the ranking released by Nielsen, August 28, 2009. That means Austin gain TV households from 667,670 to 678,730. In that same week two of Austin’s media groups announced details for planned launches of newscasts. LIN TV owned KXAN TV (NBC) announced that it would be doing 30-minutes of news on its CW station KNVA at 9 p.m. seven days a week starting September 28th. Meanwhile, KEYE TV (CBS) is moving to a 4 p.m. hour-long newscast on September 14th. KEYE had been doing a 5 p.m. since becoming CBS in the mid-1990s.

Further, KVUE TV (ABC) is going to use KVUE.2 for Spanish Language program from the “Estrella” network. It had been looping KVUE weather graphics and radar with audio from the National Weather Service. (Some viewers lament the loss of free weather on KVUE.2. Weather in much the same format is available from Time-Warner cable on digital channel 355 using New 8’s graphics and radar.)

There will be future changes on the digital broadcasting dial.

What does all of this mean? The available Austin audience can be sliced in to smaller and smaller pieces of the pie. As more channels become available, there may be more opportunities for hyper-local and diverse narrowcasting.

It is always interesting to see what is happening in other Texas DMAs—Who’s gaining ground and who’s not:

Dallas-Ft. Worth remained the #5 market in American with approximately 2.5 million TV homes.

Houston held at #10 in the nation with about 2.1 million TV homes.

San Antonio is stuck at #37 although they gained from 818,560 to 830,000 TV homes.

Austin is now #48 as we said above.

The Waco market made the largest leap in the national rankings, going from DMA 94 to 89, or a gain from 329,690 to 339,570 TV homes, a leap of five markets in the Nielsen rankings.

El Paso held at #98

Tyler/Longview climbed from #110 to #109, or a gain from 265,200 to 267,890, or about the size of Austin in 1970.

Corpus Christi keeps its #129 ranking.

Amarillo was stuck at #131.

Beaumont/Port Arthur remained at #141.

Lubbock languished at #143.

Wichita Falls/Lawton was the biggest loser nationally, dropping from #145-149, a loss of an estimated 3,370 TV homes.

Odessa/Midland made the climb from #156 to #155.

Sherman-Ada is stuck at #161.

Abilene-Sweetwater holds at #165.

Laredo remains at #188.

San Angelo sank two slots from #196 to #198 with a loss of only 500 TV homes.

And Victoria advanced one step from #205-#204.

These numbers are of idle interest to most, but they are mighty important to TV stations and advertisers in a time when television revenues are down. More information may be found on Nielsen’s site at:

© Jim McNabb, 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For a market of its size, Austin has a truly pathetic selection of over the air programming options, and it's only going to get worse if you speak English.