Last week, on a conference call with Keith Olbermann, I had to smile when heard him say this:
There will be (from a former employer) reports, you’ll be buffeted, about the ratings for first edition of Countdown on Current. Our view: If the 10-12 people in our control room can successfully see the show on Monday night, that would be spectacular. They’ll hit us on ratings. That will be heavily spun bullshit. including what WE send out. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. We’ll tell you what they will not, that it will be heavily massaged. If MSNBC compares that Countdown to ours on Current, that’s not a valid contrast. The goal we have in mind is what the numbers will look like in 2013. That’s our goal. We’ll be happy if ANYbody sees it on Monday night. If the number is the same for the next 2 years and great, or terrible, you’ll hear from us.
I am happy to report what Politico is reporting:
Ratings for splashy debuts should be taken with a grain of salt – especially ones as heavily promoted as Keith Olbermann’s debut on Current TV last night – but even with that grain, Current’s big bet on Olbermann is looking sound.
“Countdown” drew 179,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic – not enough to beat MSNBC’s 237,000 viewers, but enough to beat CNN’s 89,000.
Current's usual average? 30,000 households. Current also said that viewers, advertisers and distribution partners all gave them great feedback.
I can say with confidence that Countdown will hang on to a few thousand more than those 10-12 viewers in the control room.