I don't think viewer satisfaction influences TV ratings much, if at all, in the short run. A typical PAD viewer won't know in advance that the week may have a new format, like cash or heads-up. He may never have seen a televised cash game before, and he won't know till after he's watched it if he likes it or not. Readers of a TV poker forum, on the other hand, are knowledgeable consumers: they know whether they like cash games or tournaments; heads-up, shorthanded, or full ring; and Poker After Dark or the World Poker Tour. It seemed to me that their forum posts and views would be a good measure of their interest in the shows; and that their interest would predict future TV ratings, which would slowly follow. With that in mind, I counted the posts in and views of 2+2 poker TV forum threads about these recent shows:
|PAD Cash Game||904||94,067|
|WSOP (avg. of 2 eps.)||213||16,189|
|WPT (avg. of 3 eps.)||36||1,924|
2+2 posters' views pretty much match my own: we prefer cash games to tournaments, and find heads-up to be relatively boring. We think Poker After Dark is a good show. I think the World Series of Poker shows are badly made, but it's poker's world championship.
I did a similar exercise in the past: see The Most Popular Poker Shows on TV, Based on Downloads. It also showed cash games to be popular.