TV Ratings: Local L.A. News Audience Surges During Dorner Coverage

Christopher Dorner Big Bear Police - H 2013
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Christopher Dorner Big Bear Police - H 2013

The six stations covering the Big Bear shootout and ensuing fire see viewership swell above 2 million, with KCBS' 5 p.m. broadcast reaching its largest audience since 2004.

Tuesday evening's live coverage of the Big Bear area shootout between police and the man believed to be Christopher Dorner brought massive ratings for local Los Angeles news outlets.

Against similar competition from the cable news networks, local broadcasts still topped a gross 2 million viewers across the six stations. The haul more than doubles the typical 5 p.m. news-watching audience, with KCBS bringing in its best ratings in the hour since 2004.

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KABC, up 110 percent from its February sweep-to-date average, led the pack with 708,000 viewers. Sister networks KCBS and KCAL, airing the former's simulcast, brought in 680,000 viewers combined. And for KCBS, its individual score was up 222 percent from the February average and marked the largest audience for a 5 p.m. broadcast since Local People Meters started measuring ratings in 2004.

KTLA pulled in 259,000 viewers, while KNBC was up 44 percent for 221,000 viewers. Showing a similar surge as KCBS, KTTV jumped 207 percent above the February average to 169,000 viewers.

And while many viewers stuck around when Dorner coverage broke for President Obama's State of the Union address, networks did see steep drops after 6 p.m. Local viewership did top 1.1 million though, with the rankings holding with KABC (428,000) ahead of KCBS (358,000), KNBC (211,000) and KTTV (101,000).