Although it was considered a major network by the Nielsen ratings, UPN was not available in all areas of the United States. In some areas, UPN programming was shown off-pattern by affiliates of other networks or by otherwise independent stations, such as in the case of KIKU-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii. Some affiliates were also known to extensively preempt network programming in order to broadcast local sporting events. These factors led to the network struggling in the ratings over the past few years, with its most recent Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Enterprise, perhaps suffering the most and ultimately being cancelled by the network in a controversial decision in February 2005. The most consistent ratings performer for the network was WWE SmackDown. In the 2004-2005 season, the network was getting consistently better ratings than The WB, much of this thanks to WWE.
It was estimated in 2003 that UPN was viewable by 85.98% of all households, reaching 91,689,290 houses in the United States. In contrast, The WB was viewable in 91.66% of homes. This is mainly because The WB had The WB 100+ Station Group, of group of cable-only stations in markets below the top 100, and UPN did not have such a service. Despite this, WNFM-TV in Southwest Florida became a UPN affiliate in 1998. UPN had approximately 143 full-power owned-and-operated or primary affiliate stations in the U.S. and another 65 stations aired some UPN programming as secondary affiliates.
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