Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s so-called “talk-a-thon” late last month quintupled the viewership of CSPAN2’s public affairs programming, according to ratings analysis.
According to data from Rentrak, a television ratings company, provided to New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter, CSPAN2, the cable channel dedicated to the U.S. Senate and its proceedings, viewership increased five-fold from the day before.
Since CSPAN and CSPAN2 are noncommercial, they do not receive ratings from Nielsen, the industry leader in television ratings. But Rentrak, one of Nielsen’s quasi-competitors, estimated the significant jump based off anonymous set-top-box data from about 12 million homes served by DirecTV, Dish Network and Charter.
A spokesman for CSPAN downplayed the jump in ratings.
“We’re pleased to hear it, but it’s news to us,” a CSPAN spokesman said to the Times. “Noncommercial CSPAN doesn’t track numbers. Our operations are funded by cable and satellite affiliates as a public service, and they don’t ask us to report numbers to them.”
(h/t Brian Stelter, NYTimes)