TV ratings continue to decrease


The 2012–13 television season officially ended on May 22, leaving many shows with a dramatic decrease in ratings.

Popular shows such as “The Office,” “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother” were among those that lost more than 10 percent of their viewers. “The Office” ended its final season with a 26 percent decrease in ratings from last year.

“The trends do show from a national level that TV watching is declining,” said Keith Willes, market director of BYU Broadcasting. “There’s just more options out there. The TV viewing habits have changed with technology and the digital platforms.”

According to, CBS ended the season in the lead for ratings from viewers ages 18–49, which has decreased 3 percent in the past year. FOX is next, with its ratings down 22 percent from last season; NBC is third, with an 8 percent drop in ratings; ABC is fourth, also with an 8 percent drop; and CW finished fifth, with a 13 percent decrease in viewers.

BYUtv’s efforts to increase its viewership over the past year has been successful, unlike most other stations.

“We are trying to reach a broader audience,” Willes said. “You can watch BYUtv on TV … but you can also watch our live stream on our website.”

Although television stations may be doing all they can to attract viewers, many people just don’t have as much time anymore for television. People direct their attention otherwise as new technology and different mediums for viewing come about.

Sidney Wilder, a junior from Nampa, Idaho, watches television an hour per day at the most, which is much less than she used to. Wilder has noticed the decrease in television watching and believes it is partly due to sites such as Netflix or Hulu.

“It’s not so much people are watching TV as they are watching movies or TV shows that have been out before,” Wilder said. “I think it might also be that there aren’t as many cool television shows. … It may just be that they’ve stopped coming up with new ideas or it’s just not as fun to watch anymore as it used to be.”

Jessica Wilkin, a junior from Toledo, Ohio, follows a similar pattern as Wilder. She hardly ever watches live television but instead will watch one or two shows per day online.

“It’s so accessible online,” Wilkin said. “Shows like ‘Modern Family’ or ‘Psych’ — I would catch up on them on Hulu. … I didn’t feel like I needed to be caught up by a certain time. It’s just easier to work around your schedule.”

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