We’re No. 1! No, We’re No. 1!

Like it or not, we’re living in a ratings-obsessed world, and nowhere was that more evident than in 2017 when The New York Times business section where two major networks competed in a market game of numbers soup. There, both NBC and CBS laid claim to having the No. 1 drama and No. 1 broadcast news program, among other top shows, in full-page print ads that were separated by only three turns of the paper. So, who was No. 1? Truth in Advertising asked both networks why they were the top dog and the other was the runt of the litter. A CBS spokesman said it depends on who’s watching. Across viewers of all ages, CBS got the most eyeballs he said, but among adults 18-49, NBC had the advantage. In regard to the simultaneous running of the ads, both networks said it was "upfront week," when broadcasters presented their lineups to advertisers. In fact, the ads were more for the advertisers than the consumers. However you look at it, the real winner was The New York Times, which was able to generate revenue from two competing networks on the same day.