How to use the TVbytheNumbers web site
We publish a lot of content, some of it regularly. The easiest and I think best way to get an idea of all the information we publish is to subscribe to our RSS feed at least for a month, and hopefully longer. There, you will see everything we post to the site with exception of press releases from the networks. We wind up getting and publishing so many press releases that we did not want to pummel our RSS readers with that much volume. But you can see all the press releases we post by accessing the network press release archive.
Our most popular items are listed in the top navigation of the site, but here’s (hopefully!) a helpful guide to some of our content. We generally have only two types of regularly produced data: daily, and weekly.
DAILY RATINGS/VIEWING DATA
This is typically published daily around 9:30am pacific time and is based on preliminary fast national overnight reporting from Nielsen. This is only for the national broadcast networks, and does not include any data for cable shows.
There is no formal overnight reporting for cable shows produced by Nielsen that is available to us (or, I think, anyone) for inclusion in the early morning reports. Sometimes, later in the day cable information for particular shows is made available in a variety of ways, including press releases. If we see the information, we will generally post it separately. And often people will post the information in the comments section of the overnight posts.
Data is published every day, Monday through Friday generally around 3pm pacific. While we ultimately get the data for the weekend viewing, we do not actually receive any data over the weekends, so Friday’s numbers generally are posted Monday afternoon. The weekend numbers are usually posted Tuesday morning.
Far and away the most popular of the weekly data. These reports are typically updated with the previous week’s data and posted for all networks by Tuesday evenings. Separate reports for scripted shows are available by network, and there is an overarching post containing all the unscripted shows with links to the various network posts.
Most of our daily and weekly postings only include any DVR viewing that happened the same night the show was aired (Live+SD or live plus same day DVR viewing) , but Nielsen also measures to include a week’s worth of DVR viewing (Live+7 or live plus seven days of DVR viewing). We post these weekly, usually on Monday or Tuesday afternoons, but this data takes a while to compile and be released by Nielsen, so the data that we published for example on March 30, 2009 was for the week of March 9-15, 2009.
Ranking of the top twenty shows for the week based on overall viewing. This is usually published Tuesday afternoons.
Ranks the top twenty broadcast shows for the week based on the advertising-centric adults 18-49 viewing for the previous week. Typically posted Tuesday afternoons.
Ranks the top cable shows for the week based on total viewing. While the broadcast rankings only measure prime-time, the cable rankings include all day parts, and you regularly see just how popular SpongeBob is! If any premium cable shows make the top 20, we will see the data. But that hasn’t happened since The Soprano’s finale which aired about three months prior to our launching the web site in September 2007. Outside of that, the rest of cable data we see is for advertising supported basic cable only. So unless they make the top 20 rankings (actually, top 40) we don’t see the ratings for shows on HBO and Showtime unless they either issue a press release or somebody else writes about them.
Because so many cable programs air and there are thousands of airings per week, we try to include a smattering of shows outside the top twenty, but there is no reasonable way to post all shows, and all data. There’s no way to make everyone happy because if we posted the whole list, a.) our web site would crash, b.) your browser would probably crash and c.) Nielsen wouldn’t like it.
Produced weekly, usually on Tuesdays, these reports rank the overall weekly primetime averages by network by total viewer, adults 18-49, adults 18-34, and adults 25-54 for all broadcast networks, including Spanish language. Data is listed in tabular format, but charted via bar charts as well.
Produced weekly, usually on Tuesdays, the weekly cable network rankings rank the advertising supported basic cable networks by average primetime and total day audiences. Premium cable is not included in these rankings.
We post a lot of other stuff regularly too, including season-to-date rankings, top downloaded shows from P2P networks, and soap opera ratings for, so hopefully if you didn’t find what you were looking for above, you can find it in the table below.