Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

Game of Thrones Sets Another Ratings Record

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Whether they’re going up against zombies or dragons, the broadcast networks can’t seem to catch a break in the Sunday night 9 p.m. slot. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, last night’s installment of HBO’s Game of Thrones scared up a staggering 6.9 million viewers, breaking the previous record (6.64 million) it set during the April 6 season premiere . Titled “Oathkeeper,” the episode averaged a 3.7 in the adults 18-49 demo, up one-tenth of a ratings point from the season opener’s 3.6 rating. All told, Game of Thrones beat CBS, NBC and Fox combined in the demo. The uptick in Thrones’ deliveries—last night’s show was up 5 percent versus the April 20 telecast—coincided with another weak performance by the Big Four. ABC’s Resurrection dropped another 10 percent in the demo, notching a series-low 1.9 rating, while CBS’ The Good Wife was flat with a 1.3. And while NBC’s Believe improved 9 percent to a 1.2, its overall time-slot average (also a 1.2) doesn’t bode well for a renewal. (That said, it’s worth noting that there was an NBA preemption in Portland, Ore., the nation’s No. 22 DMA.) Fox’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was unchanged with a 1.4 in the dollar demo

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Sluggish Debuts for Bad Teacher, Black Box

April 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With just a month to go before the 2013-14 broadcast TV season slinks off into the murk of history, the networks on Thursday night launched a pair of last-gasp series. As one may well expect from a couple of shows that were reserved for a late-April premiere, the results were unspectacular. According to Nielsen fast national data, CBS repolishing of the 2011 theatrical Bad Teacher generated a fair amount of sampling, delivering 7.87 million viewers and a 2.1 in the adults 18-49 demo. Bad Teacher retained 84 percent of its Two and a Half Men lead-in (2.5). At any network but CBS, north of a 2.0 for a spring comedy debut would be cause for subdued celebration. Unfortunately, Teacher now stands as CBS’ second lowest-rated in-season sitcom premiere, trailing only the fall flop We Are Men, which drew a 2.0 on Monday, Sept. 30. If the 2.1 rating sticks, Teacher will rank as the season’s 13th highest-rated comedy premiere. Thus far, the networks have launched 20 new sitcoms; the only remaining comedies on the launch pad are the NBC summer strip Undateable (May 29) and Fox’s Us & Them, which is unlikely to ever see the light of day. As Teacher was signing off, ABC began unveiling its new physician-heal-thyself drama, Black Box. Leading out of Grey’s Anatomy , the pilot drew 6.59 million viewers and a 1.5 in the dollar demo, and while that marked a 15 percent improvement versus last spring’s debut of Motive (1.3), it was down 52 percent when compared to time slot predecessor Scandal’s season average (3.1). Black Box frittered away 35 percent of its Grey’s lead-in, although it did give CBS’ Elementary a run for its money in the 10 p.m. slot. The Sherlock Holmes drama eked out a 1.6 in the 18-49 demo.

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Rivalries Abound in CBS Thursday Night Football Slate

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The National Football League on Wednesday night took the wraps off its 2014 regular season schedule, and while CBS’ inaugural Thursday Night Football slate is packed with divisional rivalries, some of the matchups are strictly from nostalgia. Kicking off CBS’ TNF roster is the Week 2 (Sept. 11) grudge match between the AFC North’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. When last these two teams met on national television, they drew 21.1 million viewers and an 11.0 household rating, down 13 percent from NBC’s full-season Sunday Night Football average (12.6). The Ravens stole a victory from the visiting Steelers in a 22-20 squeaker that was played on Thanksgiving night. While Turkey Day generally offers a captive audience of tryptophan-doped football fans, the two antagonists actually put up bigger numbers in an earlier late national game on CBS.

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FX Networks, MillerCoors in 3-Year Partnership Deal

April 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The next time the Soviet spies Elizabeth and Philip Jennings tuck into a tin of caviar on the FX drama The Americans , the comely commies will likely wash down the delicacy with the Champagne of Beers.

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Salem Scares Up Big Numbers for WGN America

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The series premiere of WGN America’s first original scripted series, Salem , scared up some big numbers Sunday night, averaging 1.5 million viewers and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49. Per Nielsen, the 10 p.m. debut effectively septupled WGNA’s first quarter prime time average (218,000 total viewers), while improving on the network’s typical demo performance by a factor of six. In the period spanning Dec. 20, 2013 to March 30, 2014, WGNA averaged just 106,000 members of the dollar demo per night; last night’s premiere of Salem drew 647,000 adults 18-49. When three successive encore presentations of Salem were rolled into the actual 10 p.m. premiere numbers, WGNA came away with 2.3 million viewers and 886,000 Adults 18-49, good for a 0.7 rating.

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TiVo: Adherence to C3 Is Sucking Millions Out of TV Ad Market

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In what may be the most cogent argument for the adoption of the C7 ratings currency, TiVo Research on Monday revealed that broadcasters beholden to the dated C3 metric are leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in ad sales revenue on the table. According to TiVo’s analysis of its top 10 “Season Pass” broadcast series (a designation reserved for the shows that subscribers most commonly flag for automatic, full-season recording), there is an average lift of 8.2 percent in overall deliveries when four days of playback are added to the C3 data . As that increase is not compensated under the current metric, this translates to an overall loss of $87.8 million in ad sales for those 10 programs. (As the data was generated in a second-by-second analysis of TiVo subscriber behaviors, the numbers were not broken down by the relevant demographics.) Of the 10 series under the microscope, ABC’s Modern Family sees the greatest increase upon application of four to seven additional days of playback (10.9 percent). Based on the average unit cost per 30-second spot of $244,630, as furnished by SQAD NetCost, Modern Family season to date is missing out on an estimated $10.9 million in actionable revenue. The SQAD data is in line with the average unit costs furnished by media buyers. In a survey of top agencies , Adweek last fall concluded that a 30-second spot in Modern Family sold for $257,435 during the 2013-14 upfront. While a shift from C3 to C7 doesn’t proportionately move the ratings needle for Fox’s American Idol, which is largely watched in real time, the elevated cost of buying time in the show translates into the most amount of viewing that remains uncompensated. Per TiVo, when the 4.1 percent boost in deliveries is brought to bear on the average unit cost for the Wednesday and Thursday night Idol ($319,565 a pop), it all adds up to $14.4 million in wasted opportunities. CBS has been the loudest , and most strident , voice calling for the implementation of the more inclusive metric, but it is unlikely that a sea change will be implemented in time to have a significant impact on this year’s upfront. That said, CBS (and to some extent, ABC) has done some early C7 deals with automakers. Things should pick up on the cable side as well. “Don’t be shocked if you see cable playing a little bit more of a role in [the C7 sandbox] this year,” said Fox Cable Networks ad sales president Lou LaTorre, who added that the incremental addition of time-shifted deliveries led to a 6 percent to 8 percent increase in viewership of original cable series. “There’s a notion among some in the industry that by simply gaming the blunt instrument of average commercial minute measurement the ratings currency provides, networks can gain back some of the advantage advertisers get from unmeasured viewership beyond the three-day window,” said TiVo chief research officer Jonathan Steuer. “The reality is that only an extended measurement approach that combines both precise measurement of media viewership and a comprehensive understanding of audience composition can enable networks and advertisers to evaluate what commercial ratings truly are over the course of a seven-day viewing period.” Largely seen as a compromise from the moment it was adopted in 2007, C3 is a blend of the average rating of all commercial minutes in a program in live viewing plus three days of playback. Six of TiVo’s top 10 Season Pass series air on CBS, while three are ABC properties. Fox elbowed its way onto the big board with Idol, but NBC was shut out.

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Marjorie Kaplan Is Juggling 2 Discovery Networks Through the Upfront and Beyond

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Marjorie Kaplan New gig Group president, TLC and Animal Planet Old gig Group president, Animal Planet, Science Channel and Velocity Age 52 So TLC is a huge business. What’s it like handling that network and Animal Planet? I’m like a crazy person now. We’re heading into the upfront, so I’m doing two upfronts, and I’m really trying to put a stamp on what we’re doing on TLC with no time to spare. One of the things that recharges your creative cells is exposure to new things and new people. I was describing it to somebody as like being in love: You have that unbelievable amount of energy, and you suddenly don’t need any sleep. Is it possible to sustain that for long? Well, I’ve got to make sure my husband still knows he’s married to me. I don’t think it’s appropriate to expect to maintain this level of engagement on both businesses, but you do have to dive into the deep end at first. I’ve been on Animal Planet a long time, and I can trust that team to move the ball forward. What do you want to accomplish at TLC? We need to remind the TLC audience of who we are. What we see happening right now with The Little Couple is a great moment for TLC. It gives us everything everyone loves about the brand. [Jen Arnold’s battle with cancer] has a happy ending—we’re not raking the audience over the coals with the experience. It’s about seeing the love and the humor. These are not painful emotional experiences, they’re life-affirming, playful shows

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Fargo Earns Solid Sampling in Debut

April 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The series premiere of FX’s adaptation of Fargo drew some decent sampling Tuesday night, scaring up 2.65 million viewers and a 0.8 in the 18-49 demo. While the 10 p.m. deliveries weren’t exactly world-beaters—recent dramas The Americans drew 3.22 million viewers and a 1.2 in the dollar demo in its January 2013 premiere, while The Bridge last July bowed to 3.04 million viewers and a 0.9 rating—the network guarantees against multiplay deliveries. As such, the more germane number is the cume: 4.15 million viewers and a 1.4 in the demo. Time-shifted viewing will only serve to boost Fargo’s premiere deliveries. Naturally, the relevant data will align with the C3 currency , which blends average commercial minutes in each live telecast with three days of playback. Because FX has been adept at encouraging viewers to catch up via on-demand platforms in which the trick functionality has been disabled (in other words, there’s no way to zap through the commercials), its conversion from live-plus-three-day data to C3 is particularly favorable. In other words, not only are people watching the content, but they’re being exposed to the paid marketing messages that keep TV afloat. “We are incredibly proud of the towering creative achievement by [writer/producer] Noah Hawley and everyone involved with Fargo,” said John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, by way of announcing the premiere deliveries. (A tip of the hat to Landgraf for not trying to cram a stray “oh, geez!” or “you betcha!” into the canned quote.) Landgraf went on to extol the talents of the cast, which features Billy Bob Thornton as a whimsical sociopath, Martin Freeman as a henpecked insurance salesman, and newcomer Allison Tolman as a folksy, but dedicated, young police officer. “This is truly one of the best shows we’ve ever had on the network,” Landgraf said. “We’re thrilled with the initial viewership last night and really excited for audiences to see the rest of the miniseries.” The ratings rolled in shortly after FX officially announced the renewal of The Americans for a third season

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H2, History’s Sister Network, Is Doubling Down on New Shows

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In his midtown office last week at A+E Networks, Paul Cabana managed to sound both completely reasonable and incredibly enthusiastic, as though he were simply describing a happy accident that had led to quarter after quarter of uninterrupted growth at H2 , History’s sister network. H2 of late has been on a tear; in Q1 2014, the net improved 11 percent in prime time among adults 25-54, topping the likes of CNN and Hallmark Channel. But it’s no accident. “Everyone’s moving into scripted … and we’ve had a lot of success in counterprogramming,” said Cabana, svp, head of programming for H2. “Everyone’s moving into scripted, no one’s doing great documentary.” Among those new shows: Brad Meltzer’s Secret History (hosted by the mystery novelist behind History’s Decoded); an event series titled The Civil War , set to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox; and most promisingly, The Shift, an ancient-history/far-future special about what the planet looked like millions of years ago and how it’ll look millions of years from now. Cabana said H2’s programming strategy exists partly to protect the History brand, which saw some of its brainier fare “being outpaced by these big rockets” like Vikings , Swamp People and Pawn Stars. The shows weren’t anti-historical, exactly, but the network wanted to have all that ratings cake and eat its educational cake (educake?) too. Hence H2

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‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Scandal’ Top Thursday; ‘Surviving Jack’ Steady for Fox

April 11, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and ABC’s “Scandal” remained the hottest shows on Thursday this week, ranking as the top draws among young adults as the nets tied for the demo lead. ABC helped its cause by airing a special “Shark Tank” leading off the night. According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big... Read more

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