C.E. Evans wrote:
It was the first or second highest syndicated rated series against other shows while it was airing. So definitely did good.
That's what I remember reading at the time, but I keep seeing people on here saying that DS9's ratings were in the dumper.
I was beginning to think I was in an alternate timeline or something.
DS9's ratings did decline year after year--it just didn't hold onto the huge
audience that TNG had. And with VOY--or rather, Jeri Ryan--kind of grabbing the spotlight, DS9 was sort of the forgotten middle child of the Trek franchise at that point in time, IMO.
DS9 fans have middle child syndrome. "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!". Only difference was they fared better than the younger sibling (Cindy), just not the older sibling (Marcia).
DS9 during all 7 seasons was either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd highest-rated non-game show/talk show/court show series in syndication. It had as good ratings as could be asked for from syndicators. Part of the ratings decline was the decline of the syndicated field in general and cable eating away at ratings. For all the griping, DS9 except for like Jan-Feb 1995, always had better ratings than the same Voyager that week with only a few isolated exceptions thereafter. If you take all the ratings and average them for each series, Voyager only averaged 85% of DS9's ratings (range season by season was like 81~87%). Both DS9 & Voyager had a lot of pre-emptions (in fact, in researching that online, I found more complaints about Voyager being pre-empted, usually by hockey or basketball than DS9 being pre-empted. Probably because Wednesday is a popular game night whereas a station with DS9 could schedule it to avoid clashing with most games. Didn't stop some though. The Cubs were greater enemies to DS9 than the Dominion). UPN affiliates were often stations with a lot of sports broadcasts.
Everything came down to the flaw of using TNG as the baseline when it was the exception. TNG had much wider appeal, appeal DS9, Voyager, Enterprise did not have. TNG was one of the biggest hits in syndication history, DS9 was too, but it was a whole magnitude below TNG.