I was shocked, like many, to hear about the recent report by Current that viewership for Independent Lens had dropped 42% in the past year due to the scheduling change. That’s a significant shift!
As reported Tuesday, March 13 in Current, PBS viewership data for Independent Lens in October and November 2011 indicate a ratings decrease of about 42 percent compared to the same time period last year. With the change to Thursday nights, some stations have elected to move the series off their main channel. Other stations have shifted indie programming to a time slot that does not conflict with their designated local programming night. Among them are the nation’s two largest stations; Independent Lens now broadcasts at 11:00pm or 11:30 PM in both the New York and Los Angeles media markets.
A joint task force between staff from ITVS, POV and PBS has been created to address this issue and encourage more support for viewership of independent documentaries. To read the full article on the shift in programming scheduling and the task force click here.