A Year of Success
Tom Axtell, General Manager
Vegas PBS had a wonderful 2014 highlighted by breathtaking national programming, increased local productions, impactful educational services, and rising viewer and corporate support. Your letters, emails and calls repeatedly state that you value Vegas PBS as a trusted programming source that is uniquely different from commercial broadcasting, treating audiences as citizens and not simply consumers. As recent ratings results illustrate, that approach continues to create valued programming that Nevadans want to watch.
For the 2013–14 television season, PBS had the 5th largest primetime household rating among all broadcast and cable networks, up from 8th the prior year and 11th two years ago. While most over the air broadcast networks are losing audience, PBS is growing audience with significantly larger viewership than commercial cable channels like HBO, Discovery, Disney, CNN, FOX, HGTV or A&E. Locally, Vegas PBS maintained its status as the second most-watched PBS station in the U.S., based on our percentage of whole-day local audience.
Programming highlights include Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which reached more than 33.3 million national viewers across the seven nights of the series. An average of 13.2 million viewers tuned in to Season 4 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, reinforcing its status as PBS’ highest-rated drama in history. Viewers also enjoyed new history and science programs about JFK from American Experience, NOVA and Secrets of the Dead.
Our sesquicentennial programs last month including Makers: Women in Nevada History, Restoration Neon and The Story of Classic Las Vegas reached more than 100,000 viewers. Local series and specials like Election 2014, Inside Education, Nevada Week in Review and Surviving Sin City covered meaningful issues, while digital productions like Backyard Sessions and Stories of Service presented local musicians and heroic veterans. Our multi-platform vision of public service television reflects how video content is “consumed” in our increasingly mobile world. In addition to our TV services every month, Americans watch more than 415 million PBS videos across web, mobile and connected device platforms. In September, streaming on PBSKIDS.org reached 281 million downloads nationally with more than 1.6 million in Southern Nevada! This educational impact is improving the literacy and STEM preparedness of our local kids.
None of these accomplishments would be possible without the continued financial support of our members. As we embark on the last on-air fundraising drive of the calendar year, we are pleased to bring you new episodes of some of your favorite series: Downton Abbey Rediscovered, Antiques Roadshow, American Masters, Nature, NOVA and PBS arts programs. We hope you’ll enjoy these programs and choose to make a donation to support your favorites, as well as the programs you enjoy on Vegas PBS all year long. Have a safe and happy holiday season.