In its ongoing "The 10 Things You Need to Know About The New Season" series, The Futon Critic chimes in with an important primer on why the Nielsen ratings matter so much and why all the iTunes, Hulu and DVR numbers don't yet.
The bottom line of course is that TV advertising is still HUGE and there's not nearly as much money in online advertising for streaming or in ad free iTunes downloads. As for the DVR numbers, their conclusion like ours, is that the C3 (live plus 3 days of commercial viewing) just aren't much different than the the program ratings that we generally report.
I admire and envy the ability to simply post that information once a year, and be done with it. But it's easier to be stoic when, like The Futon Critic, you don't allow commenting on your blog posts!
But their "10 Things" is a great concept, and we probably need to re-work our own FAQ into several different chapters that we can just easily point back to all the time. Perhaps a project for the holidays. In the meanwhile, for those who haven't already, you can catch the first 7 things you need to know about the new season on The Futon Critic.