It’s difficult to gauge how much the Time Warner Cable blackouts are affecting CBS-owned stations. But Sunday, three large stations experienced notable week-to-week drops in prime time. Household ratings by one metric dropped 27% in the New York market and 14% in Los Angeles, while falling 12% in Dallas.
Meanwhile, “Big Brother” took a huge hit in New York and Los Angeles, while “The Mentalist” cratered in Dallas. Yet somehow, “The Mentalist” actually increased its performance in Los Angeles.
On Sunday, WCBS in New York averaged a 3.2 in household ratings. That was down from a 4.4 the previous Sunday (July 28) before the blackouts -- accounting for a 27% decline.
In Los Angeles, KCBS averaged a 3.0, which was down 14% from the week before. Dallas' KTVT saw a 12% decline, with a 4.1 average dropping to a 3.6.
A carriage-fee dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable prompted the blackouts starting Friday in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets. Time Warner Cable does not provide numbers on how many homes it serves in specific markets. But the combined 3.2 million Time Warner Cable homes with blackouts in New York, L.A. and Dallas account for about 21% of the three markets in total.
CBS indicated that the blackouts are having a minimal impact on its national ratings. The New York, Los Angeles and Dallas markets in total account for about 14% of American TV homes.
On Sunday specifically, there was an NFL game on NBC, which could have led to ratings declines locally in the three markets -- blackouts or not.
Nonetheless, “Big Brother” fell to a 2.3 in New York, down 26% from July 28. In Los Angeles, the show also fell 26% on Sunday. In Dallas, it declined a lesser 10% to a 4.3.
“The Mentalist’s” 47% drop in Dallas on Sunday was the most week-to-week of any series across the three large markets. The series dropped from a 3.2 on July 28 down to a 1.7 on Sunday in the northern Texas market.
The second-highest decline was the 34% drop in New York for “60 Minutes” to a 5.0.
“Unforgettable” fell 16% in New York, 14% in Los Angeles and 11% in Dallas. But maybe the most striking figure of all was for “The Mentalist,” posting a 2.2 average for an 8% bump up in L.A.