Another article where Bill alleges things that are not exactly true but not exactly false either! The precise headline would've been longish: TV Viewing was down; We don't know how much was due to New Moon, but we know New Moon doesn't explain all of it! But I do have data, and you can't allege that none of last night's losses were due to New Moon.
Though absolute viewer losses for primetime in both of the major adult categories were under 2%, on a relative basis it was closer to 4% and higher at 8pm when The Vampire Diaries aired.
All numbers below are preliminary 18-49 ratings (H/P is % of adults 18-49 watching TV for the time periods specified):
The CW numbers will likely look even worse in the finals when local NFL viewing in Miami on the local CW affiliate is stripped out. You'll note that at 8pm there were nearly 5% fewer (relative, not absolute) adults 18-49 watching TV and it appears that the CW was hit disproportionately hard at 8pm (while the other networks were down more or less in line with the relative decrease in viewers).
So, there were fewer viewers watching TV at 8pm on a night when a new movie about vampires came out. What a shocker that a TV show about vampires (The Vampire Diaries) got hit disproportionately hard! OMFG! I can't believe it!
Two things happened last night:
1.) less adults 18-49 watched TV than the week before
2.) of the adults 18-49 still watching TV, fewer of them watched the major English language broadcast nets than the week before
Certainly last night's across the board declines for the broadcast networks can't be attributed exclusively to fewer viewers watching. There were fewer viewers, but they don't account for all of the drops. Cable, claimed some of those broadcast viewers.
But it's no speculative leap to conclude New Moon did have some impact, particularly in the case of The Vampire Diaries.