/// CBS’s Poltrack: Demos Don’t Tell the Entire Story of the 2012-13 Season

December 4, 2012  |  Media Week

Despite a season that’s been marked by vertiginous ratings declines, CBS research guru David Poltrack believes that broadcast’s slow start “is not indicative of how the season will progress.” Speaking to investors today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, CBS’s chief research officer said that the fall ratings have been impacted by a number of disruptive events, including numerous preemptions caused by the presidential debates and the late-October mega storm that caused major power outages in the New York and New Jersey. Of CBS’s slate of four new series, three experienced disruptions related to the debates and Hurricane Sandy. The recently-canceled Partners was bumped two weeks in a row (Oct. 22 and Oct. 29), while the new hit Vegas was pre-empted by the second presidential debate on Oct. 16 and Election Day itself. All told, 16 episodes of various freshmen broadcast series were preempted by election activity or the storm. Among the returning series that experienced some October chaos were NBC’s The Voice , Fox’s New Girl , ABC’s Modern Family and CBS’s Person of Interest . Poltrack also noted that a number of new series were available for sampling prior to the official start of the season (Sept. 24), thereby pulling GRPs out of the marketplace. Only 43 percent of all new series premiers were viewed live as scheduled, while 51 percent were accessed via the DVR. Five percent of the new fall premieres were streamed online, while the remaining 6 percent of the series openers was delivered via video on demand. All told, live, linear sampling of new series was down just 4 percent versus 2011, Poltrack said.

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CBS’s Poltrack: Demos Don’t Tell the Entire Story of the 2012-13 Season


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