Keith Olbermann’s New Countdown Premieres to Strong Ratings

Monday night marked the return of Keith Olbermann to television. His new program on Current TV was closely modeled on the old MSNBC version. What everybody has been waiting to find out is whether or not his previous audience would find him farther up the dial.

Well, they did. The new Countdown pulled in 179,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic. Of course that is not as much as he was drawing at MSNBC, but Current is in only about two-thirds the number of homes (60 million vs. 95 million). Nevertheless, Olbermann drew in excess of two-thirds of his prior viewers. And he handily beat CNN’s “In the Arena” with Eliot Spitzer (89,000).

More importantly, Olbermann increased Current’s average audience for the time period by 600%. That’s significant because the move to Current has always recognized the need to build the network’s audience and distribution. It is interesting to note that when Olbermann began on MSNBC they were in roughly the same number of homes as Current is in now. Olbermann was a key factor in putting MSNBC on the map, and Current is hoping that he will do the same for them.

It’s important, however, to keep these numbers in perspective. They represent a single day of programming – the premiere day. That could mean that subsequent days may fall off. Or it could mean that fans who haven’t yet found the homestead may do so and the numbers will rise. The only numbers that will have any real meaning are those released after the first year so that a longer-term trend can be observed. And in that time Current promises other schedule changes that will have an impact on future performance.

Today Olbermann and his fans can enjoy this morsel, but the main course has not yet been served. So be patient and stay hungry.


9 thoughts on “Keith Olbermann’s New Countdown Premieres to Strong Ratings

  1. I have my tv program M-F for his show. He hasn’t skipped a beat. Love his show so far.

  2. His attack on Ed Schultz (calling him a so-called progressive because of his response to what Michael Moore said after OBL was killed), Chris Matthews (suggesting he plagiarized his idea that Anthony Weiner should resign and run again later) and airing his show 3 minutes after the end of the hour (to keep viewers from watching Rachel Maddow) were all brazen cheap shots, in my opinion.

    These are all people he used to work (and be cordial with), and he’s going behind their backs and saying things to try and start childish feuds. It’s exactly that… childish. I was a huge fan of his at MSNBC, but now that he’s not there anymore, he’s doing what he loves and is known for… napalming bridges and burning the rivers under them. The guy just doesn’t care who he ticks off, and feeds off of the publicity. He just seems like the male version of Sarah Palin, in these instances.

    Aside from that, I love his politics and his ability to call out Republicans and conservatives on their lies, he just needs to cool it down on the trash talking.

    • I’m not sure Keith ever thought much of Ed Schultz. As for Rachel, I don’t think running his show long is a hit on her. I think it is just competitive TV. He still likes Rachel and recently said that he wants to bring her to Current.

      • They are not in the same time slot. He is up against O’Donell. They are friends. I am sure if you get on Current you could probably see his show. He hasn’t missed a beat.

  3. Unfortunately, I don’t get Current. Hopefully, Olbermann will do well and continue to give his audience what we need more of in media-truth!

    • Contact your cable company and tell them to get Current TV or you’re switching to DirecTV.

  4. “…strong ratings…179,000 in the key demo…”

    (Snort)…(orange juice through my nose)…Haaahahahaha! Oy my gawsh, you kill me!

    Low point was obviously when he had Markos Moulitsas(“I care nothing for these mercenaries. Screw them.”) on his last segment, where Moulitsas said he was banned from MSNBC because “I got into a twitter war with Joe Scarborough and made him cry.” Wrong. Mouitsas sent out a tweet that accused Scarborough of playing a role in the death of one of his Congressional staffers. That type of irresponsible crap is very likely to get you banned from any media outlet.

    Pretty much what you would expect from Olbermann and his show that is now on Al Gore’s glorified public access channel.

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