Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Some ratings questions in the Masked Mailbox today. This one is from BS:
"Do you see network TV lasting another 10 to 20 years? The reason I'm asking is because I have been told if you don't have a Nielsen box, then you don't get included in the ratings. No one I know has a Nielsen box. So how can people say TV ratings are struggling when there could be more people still watching shows live who are not included? Do you think Nielsen will come up with a different ratings metric?"
We are in a period of transformation. In fact, we are always in a period of transformation in the content delivery business, and the way we charge for content continues to evolve. For now, there is still a reliance on advertising to cover part of the cost of programming, and there is a national sample that is representative of the entire country. Most of us do not know anyone in the sample, and if you are a people meter home you are not supposed to let people know. You may in fact know people in the sample.
When we moved out to California, our kids were young, and we needed to find sitters for them. We were fortunate to meet a family that lived in our neighborhood, and their two daughters became our go-to sitters. Their parents knew I was in the business, and I would give them the pilots from all the networks to screen. One year they informed us that they were a people meter family and they showed me the meters in their house. I never asked them to watch anything, and they never offered, but these families do exist.
I think ratings will continue to evolve; cable and satellite boxes also provide data on usage. In addition, there will be more of a reliance on psychographics and buying behavior, so it's all ongoing. Finally, the networks will continue to evolve, probably eventually becoming streaming entities.
Another ratings query from KT:
"Why does live + same-day get aggregated in with delayed viewing (C3, C7, VOD, streaming)?
If I'm recording shows to my DVR, you can rest assured I am not watching commercials. So what good is it to include me in a C3 rating? Thanks for all your inputs. I know you get grief in the comments, but I enjoy reading the insider view of what goes on in network TV!"
Just to be clear, C3 and C7 ratings are just viewing *of the network commercials* and not the content of the program. L+SD is average minute ratings for the entire show, but if you are fast-forwarding commercials or content, you are not being counted during those minutes. VOD viewing with the network commercials can be counted since you cannot fast forward through the commercials. No one sells Live+SD; it is a measure of popularity. Don't worry, you're not included in the rating if you do not watch the commercial.
If you work in this business you develop a pretty tough hide, so no worries, I'm OK with negative comments. It's all good.
If you have a question or comment email or tweet me @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, Feb. 5, 2018

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Bachelor (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.8/7 6.75
The Wall (NBC) 1.5/6 6.68
Kevin Can Wait (CBS) 1.2/5 6.90
Lucifer (FOX) 1.0/4 3.73
Supergirl (The CW) 0.6/2 2.12
8:30 p.m. Man with a Plan (CBS) 1.0/4 6.36
9 p.m. Better Late Than Never (NBC) – F 1.1/4 5.29
Superior Donuts (CBS) 1.0/4 5.61
The Resident (FOX) 1.0/4 4.81
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.01
9:30 p.m. 9JKL (CBS) – F 0.8/3 4.85
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.03
10 p.m. The Good Doctor (ABC) 1.7/7 9.51
Scorpion (CBS) 0.7/3 5.51
The Best of the U.S.: The 2018 Winter Olympics (NBC) – S 0.6/2 2.59


“The Wall” had its best outing in a year Monday night. The NBC game show drew a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49, up 0.4 vs. last week to its highest mark since February 2017.

The season finale of “Better Late Than Never” (1.1) also improved, rising by 0.2 vs. last week. A Winter Olympics preview special (0.6) didn’t do much, however.

ABC led the night with “The Bachelor,” which was up a tenth of a point at 1.8, and “The Good Doctor,” whose 1.7 was even with its last episode. FOX also got improvements from “Lucifer” (1.0, +0.2) and “The Resident” (1.0, +0.1).

At CBS, “Kevin Can Wait,” “Superior Donuts” and the “9JKL” finale were all even with last week’s early numbers (“9JKL” adjusted up in the finals). “Man with a Plan” slipped a tenth to 1.0, and “Scorpion” was down two tenths to 0.7.

“Supergirl” was steady for The CW with a 0.6.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/7 1.1/4 1.0/4 0.9/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 7.67 4.85 4.27 5.79 1.57


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/4, 2.3/7

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – R: 0.6/3, 1.7/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.8/8

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.4/5

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/4, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/3, 1.2/4


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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