Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

It's Masked Mailbox time.
This is from RM: "In the past you mentioned taking into account CPMs to determine how to sell a show's ad space (essentially). How did you take account when a show overperformed expectations (eg. 'Friends' or 'ER' in its premiere season) or a show that moves timeslots and as a result has a huge upswing in its ratings (eg. when 'Seinfeld' was moved partway through 'Cheers'' final season)."
Historically the way the business works is that selling time is sort of a one-way street. When a network guarantees a certain audience for a spot in a show and the show under-delivers, the network is obligated to "make good" on the deficient audience. However, if the show over-delivers on the guaranteed audience, the network can't turn around and ask for more money from the advertiser.
Networks do not sell all of their units because they assume they will need to use spots to make good on the audience deficiencies. Networks can also add units to their schedule to account for audience misses.
Finally, whatever inventory is left over or available can be sold in the scatter market, where the network is not obligated to make good on the audience since there is no guarantee.
This is a very simplistic answer, and the business is evolving so rapidly with cross-platform sales, etc., that I honestly don't know whether this applies to network sales anymore but would be happy for the feedback.
***
Masked Wife and I finished "The Leftovers" last night … yeah. Anyway, this question is from long-time Twitter Masketeer Jan: "For me, 'Billions' is just fun. No deep meaning, just playful jousting among great actors. Could it have worked on broadcast TV (like 'Scandal')?"
I loved this season of "Billions." The tension between Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis is amazing and they are rarely on camera together. I don't watch "Scandal" so it's hard to compare. My concern about "Billions" performing on a broadcast network is the complexity of the story. It's about hedge funds. As always there are some standards issues that would need to be addressed.
As the ratings gap between broadcast and "cable" shows narrow, I don't know how much longer we can think about shows in this way.
Tomorrow: multi- vs. single-camera comedies. Waddup with that?
***
In addition to completing "The Leftovers" we cleansed our palates with "Silicon Valley," so the night wasn't a total loss.
Tweet me @maskedscheduler and email masked.scheduler@gmail.com.
Cespedes, Matz and Lugo are back so LET'S GO METS!

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, June 11, 2017

Note: NBC’s live Stanley Cup Finals coverage may result in greater adjustments than usual for the network.

The numbers for Sunday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly (NBC) 0.9/4 4.35
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) – R 0.8/4 4.07
60 Minutes (CBS) 0.7/3 7.66
Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.00
7:30 p.m. The Last Man on Earth (FOX) – R 0.3/1 0.72
8 p.m. NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 6 (NBC) (8-11 p.m.) 2.1/8 6.47
Celebrity Family Feud (ABC) – P 1.5/6 6.93
71st Tony Awards (CBS) (8-11 p.m.) – S 0.9/4 6.01
The Simpsons (FOX) – R 0.5/2 1.34
8:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) 0.7/3 1.50
9 p.m. Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC) – P 1.4/5 6.14
American Grit (FOX) – P 0.4/2 1.12
10 p.m. The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC) – P 1.2/5 5.55

 

Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals carried NBC to a ratings win Sunday night. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ series-clinching win over the Nashville Predators scored a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49, pending updates, a high for this year’s six-game series. In metered markets, the game drew a 4.8 household rating, up 28 percent from last year’s Game 6 (which was also the last of the series).

The season premiere of “Celebrity Family Feud” earned a 1.5 for ABC, nearly even with the 1.6 for last season’s debut. “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome” opened with a 1.4, and “The $100,000 Pyramid” scored a 1.2 — down half a point from its series premiere last year but in line with its Season 1 average.

The Tony Awards (0.9, 6 million viewers) fell a good amount year to year, dropping 44 percent in adults 18-49 (from 1.6) and 31 percent in viewers (from 8.73 million). Last year’s show, however, had the awards’ best ratings in more than a decade thanks to “Hamilton.”

FOX’s “American Grit” managed just a 0.4 with its premiere. That’s down from a 0.7 average last year, when it aired mostly in-season. A new “Bob’s Burgers” posted a 0.7.

Network averages:

NBC ABC CBS FOX
Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/7 1.2/5 0.9/4 0.5/2
Total Viewers (millions) 5.94 5.67 6.43 1.13

 

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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