Mailbag: You Say DVR Numbers Don’t Matter; I Say It Boosted ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Commercial Viewing 30%!

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

October 12th, 2010

You people keep saying that the DVR viewing doesn’t matter much, but according to this post it lifted Grey’s Anatomy’s commercial viewing (C3) ratings with adults 18-49 by 31%! Why don’t you people just admit DVR viewing matters?

Love,
Shonda

You people!

Indeed we people sometimes don’t do a great job of precisely defining “doesn’t matter.”  It’s  relative and relative importance increases and decreases depending on what the comparisons are.

You’re absolutely right that DVR boosted Grey’s Anatomy’s C3 ratings by nearly 31% versus live commercial viewing and that is certainly significant.  However, that is  a bit of an apples to pancakes comparison.

Live numbers aren’t ever reported except in the context of C3 or Live+7  DVR viewing.  The preliminary and final numbers we report that come much sooner than the Live+7 or C3 ratings already include same day DVR viewing.   Nielsen C+SD (same day) data wasn’t included in any of the information we saw, including the post you cite from NielsenWire.

Our premise is, and remains that the extra DVR viewing on top of the Live+SD ratings we report don’t really matter in the sense that they don’t change the relative view of how well a show is doing.

Grey’s Anatomy’s Live+SD program viewing for its premiere was a 5.4 rating with adults 18-49.  That live+SD number is the only number that we (or anyone else, for that matter) reported.  That’s because nobody found out until weeks later that Grey’s premiere had a live adults 18-49 rating of 4.1.   In the next day numbers we reported for the premiere, the 5.4 adults 18-49 rating already included a 32% lift for DVR viewing that occurred the same night.

When we say the DVR viewing doesn’t really matter, we’re referring to the DVR viewing that comes after the same day DVR viewing that is regularly reported.

 
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