October 9, 2006
Gubernatorial Debate Records Record Viewership in Three of Four Markets in Texas
DALLAS -- Belo Corp. television stations in Texas topped ratings Friday night with their broadcast of the one-hour Texas gubernatorial debate making it the most-watched program on broadcast stations in its time period in three out of the state's four largest markets.
"We are proud to have produced the debate and broadcast it as a public service on stations across Texas," said Mike Devlin, WFAA vice president/station manager. "Despite what some pundits predicted, viewers responded by watching in rather significant fashion last Friday night. The debate won its time period in three of the state's top four television markets, and viewership did not decline as the hour progressed."
Based upon Nielsen overnight ratings, approximately 775,000 people in the state's four major markets watched the debate. "This figure doesn't include the considerable number of viewers in the remaining Texas television markets outside D-FW, Houston, San Antonio and Austin that also watched the program," said Devlin.
According to Nielsen's overnight meters, the debate was the most watched program on broadcast television stations in Houston, San Antonio and Austin. On KHOU-TV (CBS affiliate) in Houston, the debate won the time period with a strong 9.1 rating and 15 share of the audience. San Antonio's KENS (CBS affiliate) topped the time period with an 8.7/15, and KVUE (ABC affiliate) in Austin won with a 7.2/13. In Dallas-Fort Worth (the state's only market measured by Local People Meters/LPM) the debate logged a 4.1/8, seen by an audience twice as large as the 2002 Texas gubernatorial debate that aired on a Thursday evening at 7 p.m. on the market's PBS station.
Devlin noted that the size of the statewide television audience watching Friday's debate was the most watched in recent history, and far surpassed the size of the audience four years ago.
"For those that follow elections closely, as well as the more casual viewer, the hour-long debate provided an opportunity to measure the candidates and hear their thoughts on some of the major issues," said Devlin, who also served as the program's executive producer.
WFAA-TV is part of Belo Corp., one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with 7,700 employees and $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic. Belo owns 19 television stations, six of which are in the 15 largest U.S. broadcast markets. The Company also owns or operates seven cable news channels and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers are The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). The Company also publishes specialty publications targeting young adults and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and Al Dia in Dallas/Fort Worth, and El D and La Prensa in Riverside. Belo operates more than 30 Web sites associated with its operating companies. Additional information is available contacting Dave Muscari, WFAA-TV vice president/product development, at 214-977-6490.