'Shark Tank' Reruns Are Saving CNBC's Ratings

Last summer, viewership in CNBC’s core demographic — the 25-54 year old crowd — disintegrated to a fresh 20-year low of 37,000.

With riveting financial crisis plot lines like AIG bonuses and Lehman’s collapse way in the rear view, people wondered whether business TV journalism had officially lost its relevancy.

“Most of the financial sector’s sharp edges have been sanded down, its eccentricities and peccadilloes ironed out by five years of regulation and magnifying-glass public scrutiny,” wrote New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose.

Well, all it took was some re-runs!

The New York Post’s Andrea Morabito reports that CNBC’s ratings have soared since the network started showing old seasons of “Shark Tank,” where business owners pitch their products to investing “sharks” like Mark Cuban who then negotiate equity for cash.

The show has gained in popularity since its first season for ABC in 2009, according to the Post, and now it’s right in CNBC’s sweet spot. From the Post:

Airing Tuesdays from 8 p.m. to midnight, “Shark Tank” averaged 541,000 total viewers in January — more than any prime-time show on CNN that month, as several news reports gleefully pointed out.

It also appeals to a young audience, drawing 276,000 viewers (three times CNBC’s year-ago average) in the key advertising demo of adults 25-54, making it the No. 6 show in all of cable news.

As a result, a CNBC programming exec told the Post that other reality-based shows in the vein of “Shark Tank” are “in the pipeline or in production or pre-production.”

Read the full report at the New York Post »

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