No confusion, just different terms.
Stations that tend to support the show tend to do great ratings; San
Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, others...the show does gangbusters.
In places where the show is not well supported, or it has a crummy
timeslot, then the ratings are not as good.
When your station refers to low ratings, they're referring to their
specific area, for starters, which often hits the problem noted above.
Stations have zip interest in the national ratings, since they only sell
their local spots based on their ratings *there*. Nationally we do quite
well. The national advertisers are all very solid, and the cost per
minute is high enough for WB to make a tidy profit. But that doesn't help
a local station where it's not getting support, or otherwise not doing
what they need it to do for them.
In many cases, we've found that a station may have taken a show not
because they actually wanted the show, but because they didn't want
anybody *else* to get it initially, to prevent that threat. Or because
they were part of a station group that bought it as a package. And thus
it doesn't get supported. Invariably, when a station in this category
drops the show, it *helps* us because another station almost always picks
it up, and just as invariably does *better* with it than the first one.