Saturday, December 10, 2022


October 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

International coverage of the rescue of the Chilean miners attracted tens of millions of viewers worldwide on Tuesday and Wednesday. On broadcast television in the U.S., ABC’s late-night Nightline coverage averaged 5.04 million viewers. For CNN, its coverage demonstrated again that it can attract a substantial audience by focusing on actual news and not the tabloidy features and contrived political debate that has seemingly driven away its core audience. On Tuesday night, it averaged 2.3 million viewers — nearly catching up with Fox News, which drew 2.7 million. And when the first man emerged from the mine, CNN emerged as the most-watched cable TV network of the night. (In recent weeks Fox News has often attracted more than six times the number of viewers as CNN.) The ratings victory does not come without some cost, however. CNN has not discussed how much its coverage will amount to. But a memo from a BBC executive published in part by Britain’s Guardian newspaper indicated that the broadcaster has spent so heavily on the rescue that it will be forced to reduce coverage of other planned events — even including next year’s Oscar ceremonies. Jon Williams, world news editor for the BBC, sent a message to fellow executives Wednesday saying that “the financial situation is serious” as a result of the coverage, which required a crew of 26 reporters and technical staff. He then outlined the “consequences for other events,” including sending only one reporter to cover the G20 summit in Seoul. Coverage of the NATO summit meeting in Lisbon, he said, would be characterized by “much reduced ambition.” Nevertheless, Broadcasting & Cable suggested today (Thursday) that there may be some opportunities for the media to turn the event into profit. It noted that proposed book, movie and exclusive interview deals have already been sent to families of the trapped men. The trade publication observed that rights to the miners’ story could fetch several hundred thousand dollars.