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Old 10-31-2011, 06:18 PM   #51
nunnehi
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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Sorry for hijacking the question, but why would you need more than TVBTN?

fwiw I don't go anywhere else for ratings info. Most other places are lolbad. The hollywood reporter for example don't have a clue what they are doing in this regard, reporting shows as 'doing well' because they have a high no. of total viewers but ****ty A18-49 ratings and such.

There are probably other good sites out there, but TVBTN has always met my needs.

I thought they were the best, too, just wanted to make sure there wasn't some other one out there, doing things better. They get their info in a timely manner, and are also relatively accurate with predictions, from what I can tell.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:19 PM   #52
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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nunn - I think TV by Numbers does a very good job IIRC.

They're the only site I've ever seen bother to provide an understanding of the difference between Live + Same Day, Live + Seven day, and Commercial + 3 viewing (these are referred to as the ratings data stream btw).

Anyway I think what I touched on ITT is basically all you need to know when you understand ratings. A lot of other interesting ratings metrics that Network sales people use (like C3, A18-34, A50+, Upscale, College Educated, gender breakouts, etc etc) are not available publicly.

So what you have to go by without a subscription to Nielsen data is really the A18-49 Live Plus Same day ratings (the most widely reported metric), which, in determining the health of a series, is a fine number to use, imo.

(The only additional, interesting piece is the Live +3 or Live +7 day viewing, and I believe TV by the numbers provides Live +7. And reason there is a delay on those numbers is because after the show airs, they have to wait a week, and then crunch the numbers on DVR viewing before reporting to anyone - usually takes ~1 month after the show original aired.)

I could be wrong, but I think TV by the Numbers posts that stuff about 2 weeks after the original airdate for L+7.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:20 PM   #53
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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usually takes ~1 month after the show original aired.)
I don't know how it used to be but now it usually only takes 2 weeks, the Live+7 ratings for Oct 10-16 were put up today at TVBTN.

Edit: Lol goddammit too slow again
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:23 PM   #54
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Haha, you guys really know your ****! Either Nielsen has increased their turnaround time, or I am just misremembering.

I stopped looking closely at TV ratings several years ago (pretty much after I stopped running "series economics" analysis, where I needed to know what was up with the series ratings and help project series profitability etc). Hm, and maybe it was C3 that took longer, can't exactly recall. But I don't think too much has changed over the past 3 years - the really huge shift in live/linear TV ratings came about 5 years ago when C3 became the accepted TV ad sales currency. (As you can imagine, selling "Program" ratings is better for the Networks than selling "Commerical eyeball" ratings.)

But ratings are pretty interesting - lots of cool analysis being done that Sales people do to parse them and help sell eyeballs. And obviously a lot of work to be done as Nielsen and other companies work hard to figure out how to rate non-TV platforms.

Last edited by Aloysius; 10-31-2011 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:58 PM   #55
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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Only particularly applicable to CBS. NBC don't care, as shown with Outsourced last season. Retention seems like it should matter, but it generally doesn't.

Retention % can be quite random anyway. Look at Chuck on Friday getting a 1.0 and then Grimm getting 2.1. Grimm could've had anything as a lead in and still have done well.

At any rate, retention is certainly not more important than ratings.

Share is just donkeyballs PR crap. You can't sell a share to advertisers.

If in doubt, ignore all PR and only focus on the A18-49 rating. Other factors matter, but if you're confused then this is a good start.
I've been on ABC and FOX shows where retention was probably the largest determining factor as to whether or not the show was going to get a back nine.

As far as share, I don't know anything about networks relationships with advertisers, but why wouldn't it matter? A lot more people watch TV at 8:30 than they do at 8:00. The same ratings at 8 and 8:30 are not equal. And if you have a higher rating at 8:30 but a lower share, that's not necessarily a good thing.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:27 PM   #56
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

One thing I find kind of fascinating is that we have the eyeballs, when we're forced to watch shows on Hulu, or On Demand, yet the networks don't pay as much attention to it. If we're watching something on DVR, we're always fast forwarding through commercials. FOX basically airs their shows On Demand exactly as it aired in my area. ABC just gives you 6 minutes of commercials (2 each act), of usually Disney movies or their own shows.

CBS is absolutely maddening regarding secondary markets of their first run TV shows. For some reason, you can buy first run episodes of Unforgettable on Amazon, but they don't have Person of Interest available. I know several people who would enjoy that show, but CBS doesn't do On Demand in my area, and they only have 3 episodes available on their website. It's really the only reason that network has such consistently high ratings. You can't watch their stuff, the same week, anywhere else, usually, unless it's something that they think is really struggling. You certainly don't get full episodes of Criminal Minds on cbs.com. I think it's ridiculous, and someone needs to go slap Les Moonves upside the head.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:35 PM   #57
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Watching Fox shows online will test someones sanity. They air the same 2-3 commercials over and over and if you adjust the program slider, it will automatically replay the commercials again, even if you just watched them.

Makes grabbing commercial free versions using other means a no-brainer.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:46 AM   #58
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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I've been on ABC and FOX shows where retention was probably the largest determining factor as to whether or not the show was going to get a back nine.

As far as share, I don't know anything about networks relationships with advertisers, but why wouldn't it matter? A lot more people watch TV at 8:30 than they do at 8:00. The same ratings at 8 and 8:30 are not equal. And if you have a higher rating at 8:30 but a lower share, that's not necessarily a good thing.
Hm - not sure I'm quite following you but a rating is an absolute metric when comparing within the same demo. So a 2.5 A18-49 rating at 830 is the same as a 2.5 A18-49 rating at 8pm - they are both 2.5% of 130 million 18-49 viewers. And the Network is ultimately just selling a number of eyeballs to advertisers.

If you're saying that the 2.5 at 830 is a lower share than a 2.5 at 8pm, that's probably true as the HUT level at 830 is higher than at 8 - but I've honestly never seen that come up as either a determining factor to a shows success, or as a point of discussion. But I haven't been involved in series level economics for a while, so I may be misremembering the relevance of share.

Retention though I recall coming up quite a bit - which makes a lot of sense.

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:07 AM   #59
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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One thing I find kind of fascinating is that we have the eyeballs, when we're forced to watch shows on Hulu, or On Demand, yet the networks don't pay as much attention to it. If we're watching something on DVR, we're always fast forwarding through commercials. FOX basically airs their shows On Demand exactly as it aired in my area. ABC just gives you 6 minutes of commercials (2 each act), of usually Disney movies or their own shows.
The Networks pay attention to all viewing on every platform. Any place viewing is taking place, the eyeballs are being tracked (if possible) and packaged and sold to advertisers.

That's why Networks negotiated for fast forward disabled on VOD in the first place - so the ads must be watched (you've probably noticed that not all shows on VOD are fast forward disabled, this is just a negotiated deal point and some Networks fought for it while others did not).
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:19 AM   #60
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Right, some of the cable networks allow you to fast forward VOD. Some also allow you to do it on some shows, yet not on others on the same network.

I always found that hulu, in the early days, tended to have better, more risque, ads during the shows, presumably to not piss off the consumer, even more that they are having to watch advertising. It still seems to me that when I do have to watch something on VOD that the advertising, in the ones that have limited amounts of advertising, the focus is on the studio that owns the channel's movie advertising, and television promos for the network.

If all VOD were set up the way ABC does it, and available the next day, for Revenge, for all programming, I would probably be willing to watch a lot of VOD, as opposed to DVR. I imagine it probably would be pretty easy for the cable/satellite companies to track that form of viewing, without feeling big brotherish (a box ordered this, and all stats would be anonymous). I guess that's something some of the channels might be beginning to think about, except for effing CBS.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #61
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Nunn - Networks that have ad space in VOD would love to sell ads to their normal clients, and not just run promo - the problem is that VOD viewing is more difficult to measure (unlike live TV viewing), and Nielsen doesn't rate VOD viewing so absent agreed upon sales metrics to advertisers, VOD ads are tough to sell out.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:36 AM   #62
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

That's bizarre, to me. How could VOD be difficult to track? The cable or satellite company has a pipeline to a server that plays the show. It seems to me this would literally be THE easiest thing to track, technically. Every time someone hits play on a VOD program, movie, etc., it should just send a click through (anonymously) to a database that says that it was played.

If it's actually claimed to be difficult to do this possibly speaks to other, more nefarious, actions of the whoevers that be (Nielsen/cable/satellite companies?). I believe you could get an extremely accurate nationwide viewing number through VOD, just by the actual way that it operates through a box. I think it would be harder to do online tracking of viewing habits, and I don't think that seems that hard either, although it's not nearly as centralized for most programs as VOD is. True DVR tracking seems like it would be practically impossible.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:12 PM   #63
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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That's bizarre, to me. How could VOD be difficult to track? The cable or satellite company has a pipeline to a server that plays the show. It seems to me this would literally be THE easiest thing to track, technically. Every time someone hits play on a VOD program, movie, etc., it should just send a click through (anonymously) to a database that says that it was played.
It's easy to tell if the episode was initiated/started for the cable company through their head-end/set top box relationship. That data needs to be collected by the cable company, then shared with the Network before sales can be achieved. Having no independent measurement makes ad sales more challenged.

Also, while you can tell when an episode was started, there isn't "minute-by-minute" viewing data like there is for live TV - without an agreed upon viewing metric, it's harder to sell advertising - this is a marketplace issue, not a technology issue.

Quote:
If it's actually claimed to be difficult to do this possibly speaks to other, more nefarious, actions of the whoevers that be (Nielsen/cable/satellite companies?). I believe you could get an extremely accurate nationwide viewing number through VOD, just by the actual way that it operates through a box. I think it would be harder to do online tracking of viewing habits, and I don't think that seems that hard either, although it's not nearly as centralized for most programs as VOD is. True DVR tracking seems like it would be practically impossible.
You should write a letter to Nielsen Their extended screen metrics are not that great.

I think what you're alluding to is that cable companies via STB (set top box) data have a ton of information on the consumer's viewing habits. This is true, but it's not an industry accepted sales currency. And the Networks would need to be fully partnered with cable companies to have access to that granular data, or there needs to be a measurement company (with partnerships with cable companies) to get that data. Rentrak is such a company, but they've only been in business for some time and not long enough to have developed an industry accepted sales currency.

So again, not a technology issue, but a market issue. (And for a while it was actaully a technology issue - dynamically inserting ads into VOD programming is not an easy technical feat.) And all the Networks are working to make a market in VOD ad sales. It will just take time like it does to develop any new market.

BTW - as a comment to your Hulu thoughts - the problem for an advertiser on Hulu is that they don't exactly know where their commercial will air - I believe advertisers buy "genres", and based on the On-Demand nature of Hulu, it's hard to know precisely when their commercial will loop-in. That's why in the early days of Hulu you saw more niche/risque ads - that is not what Hulu preferred - it's the only advertisers they could get.

So when you think through what an advertiser is getting on buying on Hulu, vs. on a live air TV show - you can see how much more of a preference an advertiser has airing their commercial in a known time period/series, and the value of that preference is commensurate to how much they will pay to air commercials on that platform (if they choose to air on that platform at all).

Last edited by Aloysius; 11-01-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:58 PM   #64
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Occurred to me - hopefully the above doesn't read as a defense of the cable companies.

They have been terrible at advancing technologies and building consistent infrastructure to allow for industry-wide solutions (or even company wide solutions). The fact that TWC/Comcast etc. were not out there with a Netflix type solution is sort of ridiculous when you consider 1) they are already in your home with a set top box delivering content and 2) they are often also your ISP.

Part of the problem is that via acquisition, TWC/Comcast et al acquired cable head ends with inconsistent technical specs to their existing cable head ends. So they needed to address infrastructure issues, and they've been slow to do so. It's much better today. (This is also where you see DirecTV and DISH having some advantages, being a satellite company - but ultimately this advantage is negated by TWC/Comcast delivering an ISP+video solution to consumers).
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:11 PM   #65
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Looks like ratings were down across the board last night because it was Halloween. Really ugly numbers for Terra Nova. I think it's safe to say NBC won't be bringing back The Sing Off next fall.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/201...castle/109131/
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #66
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Al, what exactly is your function, these days?

Do you think these things will change in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, never?

Based on what you said about hulu, that's just a terrible ad model, in my opinion. The advertisers should be allowed to choose what they want their stuff on, but have the understanding that their ads will still be used elsewhere in the genre. It would seem simple to charge more for the stuff everyone wants, and less for the stuff people don't want. I think eventually hulu will become mostly subscription supported, which means the advertisers are boned, anyway. I just really don't think they know what they're doing over at hulu, though I'm sure I could be wrong.

As for the VOD, don't the networks determine what goes in those VOD pods? My understanding, from a long time ago, was that all the commercials are built into the network feed of a show (probably why FOX just airs that version on VOD, because they're lazy, or it's an agreement with the advertisers). Can't the networks also sell the advertising that will appear in the VOD (as they would probably be building that version for VOD, anyway), but maybe at a much lower rate? Right now, except in the FOX situation, I haven't noticed any VOD that I would consider to have "real" paid advertising.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:08 PM   #67
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

nunn - I think everyone in the ecoystem will figure out the best way to monetize ads on different platforms over time. There are many people trying to figure it out, just takes time largely due to lack of transparent, industry accepted ad metrics that both sides are comfortable with.

To your Hulu subscription point - that has much more to do with their content partners getting pressure from incumbent distributors to stop giving away their stuff for free (especially when they have to pay alot), than Hulu being unable to make a good ad market (though they are challenged there)

To VOD - if VOD viewing could be rated in a similar fashion as TV live ratings are, then what you propose (simply providing the broadcast feed w/same commercials in next day VOD viewing) would make sense to everyone. But it can't right now. So if you were to do this, advertisers don't know what to pay for this extra VOD viewing. So no deal from a Network perspective (why give this away for free) until a market can be made.

Also, there is a shelf-life to the commercial in a VOD program - a show is posted on VOD for a long time - at some point the commercial in the broadcast feed would have no value to the advertiser. Ideally - you'd want to dynamically insert just-in-time/relevant ads for your advertisers in VOD programs which are posted for a while. That's what everyone is working towards.

I'm in a strategy role, focusing on distribution related matters.

Last edited by Aloysius; 11-01-2011 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #68
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

That is a pretty big number for Beavis and Butthead isn't it?
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:34 PM   #69
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Great thread.

I've heard you guys talk about what NBC's troubles in the Office thread, but man I had no idea it was this bad. At least Parenthood's 2.0 is in the upper half hopefully ensuring another season.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:36 PM   #70
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

I didn't see it in your list but was encouraged by this

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Homeland drew its biggest audience yet: the Sunday 10PM play was up +18% vs. the series premiere on Oct. 2nd. HOMELAND delivered 1.28 million viewers at 10PM and 1.6 million viewers for the night. The series continues to grow its audience, up for the third consecutive week.
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/201...r-more/109138/
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:44 PM   #71
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

I can't recall exactly what CW's historical ratings are, but from the chart Wires posted, they are pretty bad right now. This is a network that is pretty much broadcast in every home in the US, and they still get such weak ratings.

One can see how CW's Netflix deal was a real boon for the Network's survival.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:45 PM   #72
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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I can't recall exactly what CW's historical ratings are, but from the chart Wires posted, they are pretty bad right now. This is a network that is pretty much broadcast in every home in the US, and they still get such weak ratings.

One can see how CW's Netflix deal was a real boon for the Network's survival.
Down 22% in the first 6 weeks of this season on last year's A18-49 numbers. Trainwreck... Apparently even CBS execs are plugging CW shows now on Twitter etc.


I would guess that, barring some sort of ratings meltdown, Parenthood is easily safe for another year.
Edit:Then, after that season it will be near enough to syndication to give it at least another 9 episodes.

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Old 11-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #73
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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Down 22% in the first 6 weeks of this season on last year's A18-49 numbers. Trainwreck... Apparently even CBS execs are plugging CW shows now on Twitter etc.
Yikes, thanks for the info. I don't know much about CW's long-term corporate strategy - their programming strategy is definitely not working it seems...

Be interesting to be in a meeting with the execs at CBS Corp and Time Warner who oversee the CW management. (I assume that's the structure as CW is a JV between those 2 companies.) I can only imagine how financially challenged the CW is today...
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:56 PM   #74
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

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(I assume that's the structure as CW is a JV between those 2 companies.) I can only imagine how financially challenged the CW is today...
I assume this also.

In b4 the network disappears or goes to cable.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:09 PM   #75
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Re: TV Ratings Discussion

Last week the CW signed streaming deals with Netflix and Hulu. CBS is killing in the ratings so maybe Viacom will give the CW awhile before they eventually kill it.
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