Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

I'm back!! With a quick shout out to The CW for going to six nights of programming in the fall. Also, that's hopefully good news for three of my faves, "Jane the Virgin," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Riverdale." Nice to see The CW go against conventional wisdom, so BIG UP!
***
The Masked Mailbox is filling up. SH expresses some skepticism toward ratings measurement in this question: "How does Nielsen know that people are 'watching' commercials, and not just leaving the area during commercials?
"Have networks been lied to all these decades? Were they supposed to just believe what they were told from Nielsen? Also, was there ever a competitor to Nielsen? Was the race close? How long did they last?"
Well, regarding live viewing, the participants in the Nielsen sample are supposed to indicate on their control that they have left the room even when the set remains on. Does that happen? Probably not all that often, but as live viewing is being supplanted by delayed viewing, this is less of an issue. Also, if you have left the room, that doesn't mean you can't hear the commercial.
Regarding delayed viewing, it depends on how you are watching. With VOD you cannot fast forward through the commercials. If you are watching on a DVR and you fast-forward, Nielsen considers that a zero rating and the commercial receives no credit.
Although the networks express frustration with Nielsen, especially as the service tries to capture viewing on all the new platforms, it remains the only game in town. The business needs a shared currency. As I have often said here, if the ratings and demographics from Nielsen were wildly different from what one would expect and are random, then you would start questioning the measurement, but they generally never surprise you.
Before Nielsen switched to people meters, there was a competitor from England called AGB. They tried to enter the market, and only CBS subscribed. Nielsen moved up the implementation of their people meter service, and AGB left the market soon thereafter.
***
I get questions like this a lot. Gary asks: "Do development execs ever accept scripts from writers outside their circle? If so, where would you start submitting your writing?"
The quick answer is no. It is not because networks want to be exclusionary, but there are legal issues with receiving scripts in the non-conventional way. The best advice is to find an agent and maybe submit some writing samples to them. Also, there are often writing contests and other ways to get your script in front of decision-makers. I know it's tough and frustrating, but you just have to keep plugging away and wait for an opportunity -- and when it comes, seize it.
Send your questions to masked.scheduler@gmail.com, and I'm still on the Twitter @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

Note: NBC’s live Olympics broadcast may result in greater adjustments than usual for the network in the final ratings.

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Winter Olympics (NBC) (8-11 p.m.) 3.7/13 15.71
The Bachelor (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.7/6 6.24
Big Brother: Celebrity Edition (CBS) 1.2/5 5.09
Lucifer (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.90
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) 0.4/2 1.43
9 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 0.7/2 3.68
The Resident (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.77
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.67
9:30 p.m. Young Sheldon (CBS) – R 0.6/2 3.77
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.66
10 p.m. The Good Doctor (ABC) – R 0.7/3 4.20
Bull (CBS) – R 0.4/2 3.05

 

“The Bachelor” held its own against the Winter Olympics Monday night, rising in the ratings compared to last week.

The ABC show drew a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, in line with its season average and up 0.2 vs. a week ago. “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition” was even with last week’s 1.2 for CBS, and “Legends of Tomorrow” slipped a tenth of a point to 0.4 on The CW.

NBC’s Olympics coverage was up a bit from Sunday but down vs. the previous Monday. In metered-market households, NBC and NBCSN delivered a combined 12.6 household rating, vs. 11.8 on Sunday and 14.5 the previous Monday. NBC’s 15.71 million viewers and 3.7 in adults 18-49 is down from 20.46 million and 5.2 last week.

Network averages:

NBC ABC CBS FOX CW
Adults 18-49 rating/share 3.7/13 1.3/5 0.8/3 0.4/2 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 15.71 5.54 3.96 1.83 1.05

 

Definitions:

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. 
Share (of Audience): 
The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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