Earlier I'd written not to make much of the lift reported with premiere week's C3 numbers. But if the table posted on the Nielsen Wire is correct, the comparisons are C3 (commercial viewing live plus 3 days of DVR) vs. live commercial viewing.
When I'd cited the B&C story, they had compared the C3 commercial ratings numbers to live program ratings.
But if the improvements to House and Grey's Anatomy are over live commercial viewing, then the DVR viewing is indeed meaningful.
In any case, the Live+SD program ratings commonly reported are still a good proxy for the C3 numbers, but we probably need to start rethinking the impact of DVR viewing, at least a little bit.
To clarify, I want to get away from generalized statements like "DVR viewing doesn't matter to revenue", because clearly in some cases it does. However, the Live+SD numbers are a very good proxy (they're actually higher than the C3 numbers for House and Grey's below) it is fair to say that the Live+7 DVR numbers that come out weeks after a show airs don't matter to a show's fate.
C3 is the metric that advertising is bought and sold based on. Here's the Nielsen Wire info:
Nielsen today released “C3? ratings data for television viewing in the first week of the 2009-2010 TV season. C3 is a measure of the commercials watched both live and three days DVR playback and is the metric under which much of primetime advertising is bought and sold.
Three NFL games appeared at the top of the C3 ratings list for the 18-49 year old demographic group. These games, like most sports programming, did not receive much of a lift from rating for live viewing and the C3 number. The top entertainment shows received a bigger boost from DVR playback, however. After three days of DVR playback, Fox’s House rose more than a full rating point to 6.3 from 5.2. ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy rose from a 5.1 live rating to a 6.1 rating on C3.
|RANK||Show||Date||Start Time||Live+SD Program Viewing||Live+3 Commercial Ratings (C3)||Commercial Ratings — Live Viewing|
|1||FOX NFL SUNDAY-SINGLE||9/27/2009||1:03 PM||6.8||6.6|
|1||CBS NFL NATIONAL||9/27/2009||4:16 PM||6.8||6.6|
|3||NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL||9/27/2009||8:31 PM||6.8||6.4||6.3|
|5||GREY’S ANATOMY-THU 9PM||9/24/2009||9:00 PM||6.7||6.1||5.1|
|6||NFL REGULAR SEASON L||9/21/2009||8:30 PM||5.7||5.5|
|7||FAMILY GUY||9/27/2009||9:00 PM||5.2||5||4.3|
|7||SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK||9/27/2009||8:22 PM||4.9||5||4.9|
|11||DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES||9/27/2009||9:00 PM||4.7||4.3||3.7|
|11||BIG BANG THEORY, THE||9/21/2009||9:30 PM||4.7||4.3||3.6|
|13||NCIS: LOS ANGELES||9/22/2009||9:00 PM||4.4||4.2||3.8|
|13||TWO AND A HALF MEN||9/21/2009||9:00 PM||4.5||4.2||3.5|
|16||CSI: MIAMI||9/21/2009||10:00 PM||4.3||4||3.7|
|16||CRIMINAL MINDS||9/23/2009||9:00 PM||4.4||4||3.5|
|16||FOX NFL SUNDAY-POST||9/27/2009||4:25 PM||4||3.8|
|19||COUGAR TOWN||9/23/2009||9:30 PM||4.4||3.9||3.5|
|19||CSI: NY||9/23/2009||10:00 PM||4||3.9||3.6|
|19||CBS NFL REGIONAL||9/27/2009||1:03 PM||3.9||3.8|
Source: The Nielsen CompanySeptember 21-27 / Persons 18-49