Struggling Fox hopes for better new year in TV ratings

Wed Jan 9, 2013 4:06am EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly on Tuesday acknowledged that his TV network had struggled to find an audience last season but said he hoped for a better performance going forward.

"We limped our way in after 2011. Nobody is happier than us to get into a new year where hopefully there are better things to come," Reilly told television reporters.

Fox television, a unit of News Corp, has slumped from long-running king in the 18-49 demographic prized by TV advertisers to current third place.

In the season so far, Fox has lost some 20 percent of its 18-49 audience compared to the same point last year, while rival NBC has pulled out of a nine-year slump and is in first place.

Fox is also currently at the bottom of the big four U.S. broadcasters in terms of total numbers of viewers.

"We are struggling right now because we didn't put on a big hit (in the 2012 fall season)," Reilly said.

Reilly said the TV industry was healthy, despite most networks losing audiences who tune in regularly to TV shows.

But he bemoaned the current system that still largely measures audiences watching TV on a nightly basis and fails to take in those watching on streaming websites, DVRS, the Internet and outside regular prime-time hours.   Continued...

Kevin Reilly poses at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society Newsmaker Luncheon featuring the TV network entertainment presidents in Beverly Hills, California October 11, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser