Current TV CEO Not Worried About Keith Olbermann’s Ratings Drop: ‘It’s A Marathon’

As you may have heard once or twice before, it’s a marathon, not a sprint (unless, of course, you’re talking about a sprint, then it’s a sprint, not a marathon). But we digress. Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Current TV, uses the sports metaphor to express his lack of concern over the second-week ratings drop for Keith Olbermann‘s Countdown. The show saw its ratings shrink by nearly a third during the week of June 27, averaging 93,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic. “Numbers are going to go up and they’re going to go down,” Rosenthal told Adweek‘s D. M. Levine. “It’s a marathon for us. And the show will build over time as more and more people continue to find Current, or continue to demand Current and cable operators continue to add it.”

Current, of course, is still a cable mystery to many viewers, and available in far fewer homes than Olbermann’s previous home, MSNBC–60 million homes versus about 100 million, says Rosenthal. “We’re not at distribution parity with the MSNBCs and virtually any other cable network out there.”

Beyond the issue of distribution, Countdown‘s ratings were bound to slide–and Current expected them to–in the show’s second week, after publicity and curiosity surrounding the show’s debut faded.

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