Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

What a way to start the new week. Epic World Series, Kevin Spacey and indictments.
That game ended after 1:30 a.m. ET, but the question is when we get the final national L+SD rating will it be for the full game or up until the last network commercial break. This is a "trick" networks have been using forever. You see, ratings have always been to account for ads sold. Before we started to drill down to C3 and all the other measures we now have, an ad was based on the average minute rating for the entire show, content and commercials.
The rating for a show was based on the minutes surrounded by network commercials, as opposed to local, commercial breaks. In order to get the largest rating for a show, especially shows late in the evening, networks would embed the final network pod as early in the show as possible. This is a trick that has been used in late night forever. For instance, "Saturday Night Live," a 90-minute show, has a program rating that only includes 60-70 minutes of the show. Next time you watch "SNL," you will notice that the final commercial pods are for the local station.
I think FOX stopped inserting network commercials in the game a bit earlier than through the final inning. This is in no way a slam, but just a public service from your friendly neighborhood Masked Scheduler.
There are a few ratings tricks in primetime as well, which I will tell you about tomorrow.
While you’re waiting, you can email me at and follow me on Twitter @maskedscheduler.
I will get to the 12 Commandments of Television later this week.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017

Note: Live sports coverage on NBC and FOX, and CBS in some markets, will likely result in greater adjustments than usual for those networks.

The numbers for Sunday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. NFL overrun (FOX) 7.0/25 23.62
Football Night in America (NBC) (7-8:30 p.m.) 2.2/8 6.68
60 Minutes (CBS) 1.5/6 11.48
The Toy Box (ABC) 0.4/2 2.08
7:30 p.m. The OT (FOX) 6.0/21 20.02
8 p.m. World Series Game 5 (FOX) (8-11 p.m.) 5.5/17 20.00
Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS) 0.8/3 7.38
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC) – R 1.0/3 3.48
8:30 p.m. Sunday Night Football (NBC) (8:30-11 p.m.) 4.3/13 12.67
9 p.m. Shark Tank (ABC) 0.9/3 3.49
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) 0.8/3 7.43
10 p.m. Shark Tank (ABC) 0.9/3 3.17
Madam Secretary (CBS) 0.6/2 5.95


Game 5 of the World Series pulled in big numbers for FOX Sunday night, putting the network well ahead of NBC and “Sunday Night Football.”

In metered markets, FOX’s World Series coverage drew a 12.8 household rating vs. a 9.4 for “SNF” on NBC. That’s a similar margin to the analogous Sunday last year, when Game 5 of the World Series earned a 15.3 in metered markets and “Sunday Night Football” an 11.6.

Final numbers for both live events will be out Tuesday morning.

Elsewhere, CBS’ dramas took a hit opposite the heavier-than-usual competition. “Wisdom of the Crowd” (0.8 rating in adults 18-49) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (0.8) were each off three tenths of a point vs. last week, and “Madam Secretary” fell two tenths to 0.6. Both “NCIS: LA” and “Madam Secretary” hit series lows.

On ABC, a second hour of “Shark Tank” (0.9) provided an upgrade over “Ten Days in the Valley” at 10, more than doubling the latter show’s rating from a week ago.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 5.8/18 3.5/11 0.9/3 0.8/3
Total Viewers (millions) 20.46 10.42 8.06 3.06


: 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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