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"Not so fast, NBC...." Nielsen Reconsiders TV Ratings Gambit

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September 27th, 2007

Nielsen Media Research

The ink isn't even dry on the new ratings gambit, and Nielsen's already reconsidering it.

At a minimum, I'd look for a change so that any re-airings do count in the averages for the week and for the averages on the night they air. But if I had to wager, I'd say the entire scheme gets abandoned entirely. It's too much of an advantage for certain networks/shows that air highly rated shows early in the weekand have really weak Saturdays [i.e. NBC, Heroes, Monday], and a disadvantage for those that air their highly rated shows late in the week [ABC, Extreme Makeover, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters].

I think this was the case of paper pushers at the networks and/or ad agencies agreeing to these things last year without understanding the implications. Once put into effect, the programmers, first at NBC, saw the obvious opportunity and are using it in a way that was not anticipated.

It's effectively the same way that syndicated ratings have been calculated for a long time, accumulating ratings across multiple airings each week. However, since most syndicated shows air M-F, there wasn't any "gaming" opportunity there.

 
  • Robert Seidman

    We’ll see if the “rival networks” are really up in arms over this. It comes down to something fairly simple I believe. If one man is ok with this, it will stick. If he isn’t, it won’t. That man is Leslie Moonves.

  • Robert Seidman

    We'll see if the “rival networks” are really up in arms over this. It comes down to something fairly simple I believe. If one man is ok with this, it will stick. If he isn't, it won't. That man is Leslie Moonves.

  • foo

    The broadcastingcable.com article is not visible to mere mortals — it asks for a password. Care to link to an article that’s not password protected?

  • foo

    The broadcastingcable.com article is not visible to mere mortals — it asks for a password. Care to link to an article that's not password protected?

  • Bill Gorman

    My bad, link moved to a non-passworded site!

  • Bill Gorman

    My bad, link moved to a non-passworded site!

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