Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Starting to see some cracks in Shondaland.
To finish up on why the networks will survive well into the future, I want to add three more factors to yesterday’s discussion of retransmission fees and ownership of programming by the sibling studios attached to the networks.
A lot of network audience erosion is a result of the untethering of shows from the linear schedule. Whether it's DVR playback, VOD, or Hulu et al, combined with mobile devices, as this viewing is captured and monetized the networks will offset the traditional ratings declines.
For quite a while the dance was, as ratings declined, the CPMs (cost per thousands) for ads would go up. It was the classic law of supply and demand. That is no longer the case, so capturing all viewing to a show will offset a flattening of CPMs.
The network syndication goal used to be to get to 100 episodes of a show and sell it to stations or station groups. Basic cable offered another platform, and now we have streaming services. As a result of all this, the old "wait for 100" model has given way to more immediate repurposing of product. Of all the networks The CW exists because of the new rules.
There are other changes that will insure the continued existence, but I think the next step will be for the networks to offer what I call "App Suites" of their channels and sell them for a monthly fee. This is what CBS All Access is. Expect to see something similar from the other networks.
21st Century Fox, for example, could sell a suite of FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, NatGeo and NatGeoWILD and offer an "indie" channel of shows not on any of these platforms.
Finally, in the case of VOD and streaming one cannot fast-forward through the commercials.
The point of all this is that the broadcast networks are run by a lot of smart people who have always been ahead of the changes and have adapted. Don't get me wrong -- you can still learn a lot from the initial fast nationals and L+3 ratings, but to point to them as an indication that the networks are dinosaurs is misguided.
Comments? @maskedscheduler on Twitter and works.
Last night's schedule was Sweet 16 basketball. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. I did finish "Fleabag" on Amazon. Might not be for everyone, but I would recommend checking it out, and there is a powerful payoff at the end.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, March 23, 2017

Note: CBS’ live coverage of the NCAA Tournament may result in greater adjustments than usual for the network.

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. NCAA Tournament (CBS) (8-9:30 p.m.) 2.1/8 7.07
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 1.9/7 7.75
Superstore (NBC) 1.1/4 4.22
Masterchef Junior (FOX) 1.1/4 3.72
Supernatural (The CW) – R 0.3/1 0.97
8:30 p.m. Trial & Error (NBC) – R 0.7/3 2.891
9 p.m. Scandal (ABC) 1.3/5 5.51
Chicago Med (NBC) – R 0.8/3 4.58
Kicking and Screaming (FOX) 0.6/2 2.04
Supernatural (The CW) – R 0.3/1 0.83
9:30 p.m. NCAA Tournament (CBS) (9:30-11 p.m.) 1.9/7 6.17
10 p.m. The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC) 0.7/3 3.98
The Catch (ABC) 0.7/3 3.47


CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 carried the network to a ratings win Thursday night, averaging a 2.0 among adults 18-49, pending updates. That’s up considerably from the preliminary 1.3 for first-round coverage last week and a small improvement on the early numbers from the same night last year (1.9).

The uptick for basketball came as ABC’s TGIT dramas dipped a little bit. “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.9) and “Scandal” (1.3) each were down a tenth of a point from last week, with “Scandal” hitting a new series low. “The Catch” (0.7) is down from last week’s preliminary 0.8 and even with its final number.

NBC’s “Superstore” (1.1) and “The Blacklist: Redemption” (0.7) were both even with last week, as were “Masterchef Junior” (1.1) and “Kicking and Screaming” (0.6) on FOX.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 2.0/7 1.3/5 0.9/3 0.8/3 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 6.62 5.58 2.88 4.03 0.90


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: o.5/3, 2.1/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 2.0/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: n/a, delayed by NCAA overrun

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.3/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: n/a, delayed

: 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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