Syfy Digital GM & SVP Craig Engler now has a sideline gig blogging for BoingBoing. He's off to a great start and today has a post about why watching TV shows online really doesn't help much yet. People wanting to know whether online viewing really helps with show renewals should definitely read it.
The most accurate answer is probably the "sort of" one. Because the streaming markets for Web and mobile are relatively new, the revenue from them is small. So while revenue from them counts, it's not an especially big number right now and we still make the overwhelming majority of money from TV viewing. We'd rather have a million TV viewers than a million streaming viewers because we make more money from the TV viewers, which means they contribute more to the health and success of a show.
Read the full story on BoingBoing
Though Craig doesn't really get into it, Nielsen plans to test aggregate online and TV ratings this summer and roll it out for regular use sometime during the first quarter of 2011. What will happen then is that viewing of shows online that have the same commercials that aired on TV within 3 days of telecast will get counted in the commercial ratings (C3) that are used to sell advertising.
That's good news and bad news. The bad news is once that happens you can expect a lot more commercials with the online streams. The good news is that the TV networks will make as much money on that online viewing (at least within 3 days of when shows originally air) as they do on TV and the online viewing will matter a lot more.