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Comcast Obliterates Viewership of Its Own NBC Station in Boston

Phillip Dampier February 9, 2017 Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News 2 Comments

Comcast’s effort to run its own NBC affiliate in Boston from an over-the-air station in New Hampshire appears to have initially backfired, causing the ratings to hit rock bottom with fewer than 10,000 viewers aged 25-54 watching the station’s 6pm local newscast.

In its first month as an NBC station, WBTS-TV’s local newscasts scored in the ratings about as well as an infomercial, coming in last place for most of its newscasts in all the ratings demographics that count with advertisers. NBC Boston’s 5pm local newscast averaged only 5,555 viewers aged 25-54. Its 6pm local news only attracted 9,340. In contrast, NBC’s former home in Boston – WHDH, managed to bring in 26,791 and 30,999 viewers for its two evening newscasts. Despite that, the NBC affiliation loss still hurt WHDH, which dropped to second place in the Boston market for some of its newscasts.

But a ratings collapse hurt WBTS even more, considering most locals watch the station over Comcast Cable and don’t have trouble finding NBC on the cable dial. Cord-cutters have to contend with challenging reception, especially in areas south of Boston. In response to viewer complaints, Comcast’s David Cohen said the cable company temporarily bought a digital subchannel on WMFP-TV, the full power Boston affiliate of preacher Jimmy Swaggart’s Sonlife Broadcasting Network.

Comcast’s long-term solution to solving its reception problems in Boston? Cohen told Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) the cable company would eventually buy another full-power TV station in or around Boston.

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. LG says:

    What a shame. I lived in Boston for 41 years before moving to Florida 2 years ago, and I have to say WHDH 7 was the best of the lot. It had the best reception, had a deeper news crew, and just seemed to be the most professionally run channel in Boston. I would have thought WCVB (CBS) 5 or even WBZ 4 would have been a more likely victim. It just goes to show that Comcast is ruining America. I always predicted they would start gobbling up broadcast stations and “failing” them.. intentionally. This all started when people stopped believing the antenna would still work with digital. When cable TV started out, we had clunky analog tuners that needed fine tuning. Those of us old enough to remember the click-click double knobs with a secondary part for fine tuning remember how difficult it was to get a channel to come in clearly on our CRT behemoths. Now if you have reception of a local network, you have something cable can NOT give you.. native 1080p. Right now you’re lucky to get anything above 360p up-scaled to 720 or 1080.

    I recorded a Patriots superbowl in 2015 using OTA, getting a perfect 1080p picture, then another 5 days ago in SB LI using Comcast. I had a really hard time editing out the halo effect around players as well as the artifacts that had nothing to do with my lossless (260 Gb) method. After both were available to watch side by side, the difference was astonishing. The 2014 SB was crystal clear, with no blocky-ness around text edges, I could tell how many teeth were in someone’s mouth because they weren’t whited out, and no halo effect around players. There’s no question about it, OTA is superior in every way. The reason is bandwidth. Comcast want’s to advertise having a gajillion channel lineup, when every channel (most are useless to anyone) consumes more of the finite available bandwidth… meaning every channel they add leaves less for the channels worth watching. OTA has no such problem. It’s like we’re going backwards. They only do this because they think were too dumb to know the difference.

  2. Dave Hancock says:

    A bit of BS there LG: OTA HD is NOT 1080P!!!! Broadcast ATSC HD is either 720P or 1080i. Now, Comcast 1080i may be inferior to OTA 1080i – but OTA is not 1080P!







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