One of these days, maybe not tomorrow, next week or next month, but perhaps by next year, I believe Nielsen will be forced into consolidated ratings instead of breaking out that which is available only via cable or satellite separately from broadcast.
The overnight data, even what we provide here - well, it's not completely worthless, but nor is it completely valuable. Take this past Monday night for instance where my beloved Washington Redskins faced off with the Eagles in Philadelphia. This past Monday night, was the most watched show.
Not just the most watched show on ESPN, and not just the most watched "non-broadcast" show, but the most watched show in all of television. It averaged 11.6 million viewers.
I don't imagine Les Moonves and his ilk are loving this, and I suppose that causes some consternation with the Nielsen brass, but ultimately, someday, they'll have to suck it up and produce consolidated ratings.
Here's hoping that day is soon.