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USA viewing figures - why so low? (or are they low?)


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I have been googling the viewing figures in the US - and am amazed that considering it is on a popular tv network; it is only watched by c.15 million people; out of a possible 300 million - approx 5 percent of the country!

I know in our day and age we have many channels etc, but this seems very low for a show that is considered so successful and on a top network.

In the UK we get it on a channel called 'E4' which is a kind of sub channel of a more mainstream channel called 'Channel 4', so the figures are around the c.1 million mark (obviously give or take a good few thousand). Again though; too low for such a great show!


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Well, the short answer is that in the US, the Primetime TV audience has been in decline since its heyday in the 80's with people watching more ad-supported cable channels instead. More choice spreads the audience more thinly.

In the UK, that has happened too (45% of the UK share is by channels outside BBC1 & 2, ITV, CH4 & Ch5) but the most popular peak time (what we call Primetime over here) programmes (big dramas, evening soaps etc.) have held on to their audiences.

More details here:




(Beware! Contains lots of lines & numbers!)

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