Ask the Media Advertising Expert – Mark Weatly

media advertising expert

Ask the Media Advertising Expert – Mark Weatly

About a year ago in this space we talked about some of the changes at CHAT –TV , we talked about programming improvements , technical upgrades / advancement and our overall commitment to local Television. In follow up it’s time for an update! The ratings are in and that’s a good place to start……What are television ratings anyway and What do they mean to the average viewer? What do they mean to a local advertiser? These are a few of the programming questions we frequently get asked at CHAT Television, so without getting too elaborate, here are some points to help you understand.

In Canada, television broadcasters are rated by a company now known as Numeris. You may remember them as BBM or the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. Broadcasters are rated twice a year in spring and fall. Ratings are conducted via a survey sent out to a sample group in each rated market. Here in Medicine Hat and area, approximately 1300 surveys are mailed out by Numeris. Survey recipients are contacted by Numeris, prior to receiving a survey. This ensures the highest return rate possible.

What this means to viewers is that it is their chance to provide accurate feedback on the programs they like, and in turn those that they don’t enjoy. Numeris compiles all of this data for each rated market in the country. Some of the information returned to broadcasters and advertisers includes:

  • The most popular programs in that market
  • Who broadcasts those programs
  • How many people are watching,
    and at what times
  • When men or women are viewing
  • What ages viewers are

This is valuable information, as it allows programmers to tailor their schedules to their audiences, and it allows advertisers to specifically target their market. For example, if you sell a product that appeals to women aged 18 to 49, television ratings allow you to consult with an account executive who can build a schedule for your commercials to hit programs that those women are actually watching. Numeris surveys are very accurate.

From the fall 2014 Numeris Survey in the Medicine Hat market, the top ten programs in order were:

  • CHAT Evening News at 5:30
  • Rogers Hometown Hockey (NHL)
    on Sundays
  • CHAT News at Noon
  • The Bachelor Canada
  • Scorpion
  • Revenge
  • The Price Is Right
  • Hockey Night In Canada (HNL) on
  • CHAT Evening News at 6:30
  • Scandal

CHAT Television had a very strong “book” (the old term for survey data) this past fall. Over the last several years, we have continued to trend upward in total audience, especially in our news programming. We are very pleased to have a top ratings generator back on our schedule, that being NHL hockey. Our prime time schedule continues to be solid via our programming partnership with Rogers Communications. Ratings are an incredibly valuable tool.  When interpreted properly, they can result in a partnership between a broadcaster and an advertiser that is an undeniable win-win situation!


Marc Westby

Program Director – CHAT Television