Newswire: TV networks intentionally misspell show names to avoid bad Nielsen ratings

In most cases, typos are cause for ridicule, but TV networks have found a way to put them to much better use. According to The Wall Street Journal, major networks like NBC and ABC have intentionally misspelled program names in their Nielsen lineups in order to deflect low ratings. Apparently, the networks do this to prevent soft numbers—for holiday weekend watches, for example—from mucking up the week’s average. The errors aren’t exactly egregious, as they usually involve dropping a letter or two in the titles, so that The CBS Evening News becomes CBS Evening Nws. But it’s enough to throw off Nielsen, and allow networks to turn in higher ratings numbers to their advertisers than the public.

NBC has also deployed this tactic, unless NBC Nitely News has really replaced the Nightly News. It’s also done so enough to draw the ire of ABC …

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