Paul Lee, a top ABC executive, says the network is the most watched by the target demographic, “if you take sports out.” As the New York times reports, “this amounts to a footnote: “not counting sports.”
“Among the four big broadcasters, ABC has competed this fall with no help from the N.F.L. and virtually no help from sports programming at all.
“What does it mean for a network to try to survive on a largely sports-free diet? Mainly, it means building a lifeline to women. Television viewing is widely dominated by women — every broadcast network but Fox has a majority female audience, as do the vast majority of cable networks. The scale is unusually tipped at ABC, where much of its sports programming has moved to ESPN, which shares the same parent, the Walt Disney Company.
“About 62 percent of the ABC audience is female. (CBS is the next most female-skewed at 57 percent.) More strikingly, the top five most popular shows among women are on ABC, as well as seven of the 10 most popular. All of those shows have an audience that is more than 70 percent female. (No. 1 is “Grey’s Anatomy” with an audience just under 76 percent female.) Continue reading “Without sports ABC gains female viewers”