Monday, May 11, 2009

A&E: 4th Largest Cable Network?

Yesterday, on the side of a bus I saw an ad for A&E that proudly declared:
Leaving aside whether or not that's something to brag about, (where do you draw the line? Would "6th largest" make it to a bus? "8th largest?" "Larger than SpikeTV?") a pressing question remains:Is A&E really the 4th largest cable network?

Well, I tracked down the source with some super sleuthing (read: typing words into Google), and the whole thing is worth a read. It's filled with marketing bullshit like:
In a world of overwhelming choice, A&E's success story is nothing less than amazing. With four straight years of growth, fueled by our dominance in nonfiction programming and the strength of our acquired dramas, we stand now as the fourth largest cable network against adults 25 to 54.
I love that they start this with what I can only assume is the Don LaFontaine "In a world..." voice.

Now, normally, I'd leave it like that but I have a sneaking suspicion based on the rest of the copy and on the fact that I have never watched a show on A&E that "largest" somehow doesn't mean "most watched," and is some other measurement. Maybe it's largest by average weight of viewer.

Well, friend of the blog, Av suggests going with:
and just measure it by ampersand usage.