Wednesday, October 03, 2007

All TV: New Nielsen measurement changes the numbers game

Today's other column takes an early look at the season's ratings and tries to figure out whether we can interpret anything at all from them:
So I called up a contact in the executive suite at one of the networks and mentioned I was working on a generic column about the winners and losers from the first week of the TV season.

"You can't do winners and losers yet!" he barked. "We don't know (euphemism)!"

The reason the networks don't know (euphemism) yet -- why they won't for another few weeks, in fact -- is because of a new Nielsen measurement introduced this year called Live Plus Seven Days, which measures both the live viewing and any playback by a TiVo or other digital video recorder within a week after a show first airs.
To read the full thing, click here.


K J Gillenwater said...

People watch "Dancing With the Stars" live? Most people I know who waste time watching that show will record it so they can fast forward through the junk and just get to the dancing.

As for the TiVO numbers not changing could that be? I can now watch TWO shows that are on at the same time. In essence giving a boost to a show that might have been a secondary watch for me, if I had to choose. I think this will change things significantly for the shows in competition with the big ratings grabbers.

Alan Sepinwall said...

People watch "Dancing With the Stars" live?

By "live," in that case, I meant "Live Plus Same Day," which is the new standard measurement for everything, and factors in people who watch Dancing or Idol or whatever the same night that they air, just buffered on the DVR.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Reaper didn't do well. That's a surprisingly good show -- one I'll definitely watch again. However, if I'd been a Nielsen house, my viewing wouldn't have counted because I Tivo'd the Thursday airing and watched it on Saturday.

memphish said...

So if Nielsen is going to count DVR +7 are they also going to count hits on streaming sights and iTunes? While it will be interesting to know how many people really watch, the fact that I watch it on DVR should indicate that I'm NOT watching the commercials, a number which would seem to backfire on both Nielsen and the networks. Or is that the intent? To see how many people are avoiding commercials even on "hit" shows.

dark tyler said...

Can't we just fast-forward to fifteen years in the future where there'll be no ads, and give Tina Fey and Greg Daniels ten products to integrate in their shows in way that's the exact opposite of what Spielberg and Proyas have done in the past?

Unknown said...

I read an argument once in an article with a similar topic that most people who DVR actually do watch the commercials. Not sure where I read this, or how they got that data. The main draw for me (and everyone else that I know) is that I won't have to watch the commercials.

Anonymous said...

So glad that Nielsen's finally catching up to the 21st century.
Although I don't think Journeyman is any stronger than Studio 60 was, I suspect NBC may have ABC's "Lost" problem when it comes to that 10pm post-"Heroes" timeslot.

Anonymous said...

I had a diary for the May 2006 book and there was a provision for logging recorded shows watched within 7 days. It was cumbersome to do, but I'm sure it had some effect.