Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Earlier this week we were talking about the different ratings metrics, and I said that the most important of these, the currency of the business is the C3 18-49 rating. The C3 rating is the average of the network commercial minutes viewed by a specific demographic within three days of the initial airing. If you fast-forward through the commercial it will not count as viewing.
The C3 rating is rarely discussed, and there are some who advocate not reporting the Live + Same Day ratings claiming that the don't tell the whole story of the popularity of a show. They don't, but what the L+SD rating does do is give you a pretty accurate representation of the C3 rating.
A reader and someone who I believe I have a past connection to sent me the L+SD and C3 ratings for the broadcast networks for the recently completed season. On average the L+SD rating, and the C3 rating were, in fact, virtually identical. The C3 was slightly higher if you go out one more decimal point, which makes sense and also says that not everyone fast-forwards through all the commercials.
Bottom line: The L+SD ratings are a very reliable lead indicator of the currency of the biz, the C3 rating.
Speaking of fast-forwarding through commercials, I noticed that the WWE during this Monday's "Raw" kept the action in the ring going during a commercial break with a split screen. The commercial occupied about two thirds of the screen, with the action in the upper left corner.
I was a big believer in using this technique in live events and pushed it for "American Idol." Not surprisingly, our sales dudes pushed back, claiming that the advertisers would not go for it because it would distract the viewer from the commercial. My point was that, in the case of "Idol," if viewers delayed the start of the show as they can fast forward through the commercials, they would be less likely to do that if the show continued through a commercial break. I offered several ideas as to how to make that entertaining.
The producers also pushed back, but I persisted and we did do an "experiment" in one break in one week. All that happened was that they kept the camera on the stage during the break. Also, there was no heads-up within the show that we were going to offer this. Oh well -- it will eventually become standard practice during live events.
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Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Note: ABC’s live broadcast of the NBA Finals will likely result in greater than usual adjustments for the network in the finals.

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night (ABC) 2.5/12 8.94
Little Big Shots (NBC) 1.1/5 6.90
Masterchef (FOX) 0.9/4 3.12
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) – R 0.6/3 5.16
Arrow (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.72
8:30 p.m. NBA Countdown (ABC) 3.2/14 10.04
9 p.m. NBA Finals Game 3 (ABC) (9-11 p.m.) 5.9/23 15.96
The F Word with Gordon Ramsay (FOX) 0.8/3 2.39
Criminal Minds (CBS) – R 0.7/3 4.66
The Carmichael Show (NBC) 0.7/3 3.76
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.68
9:30 p.m. Superstore (NBC) – R 0.5/2 2.28
10 p.m. Code Black (CBS) – R 0.6/3 4.19
This Is Us (NBC) – R 0.4/2 1.88


The NBA Finals scored their highest ratings yet in the series Wednesday night. Game 3 posted a 13.4 household rating in the overnight metered markets, up from 12.9 for Game 2 and 12.4 for Game 1. The primetime portion of the game came in at 5.9 among adults 18-49 and 15.96 million viewers, pending updates.

Wednesday’s other original shows unsurprisingly fell a bit opposite the NBA game, but none took a very steep drop. “Little Big Shots” (1.1) was even with last week for NBC, and “The Carmichael Show” (0.7) was off 0.2 from its premiere and even with its second episode last week.

At FOX, “Masterchef” (0.9) was off a tenth from last week’s early number (it adjusted up in the finals), while “The F Word’s” 0.8 was off 0.3 from its preliminary rating a week ago and down o.2 from its final number.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 4.9/20 0.8/3 0.7/3 0.6/3 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 13.81 2.76 3.94 4.67 0.70


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/3, 1.8/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/2, 2.3/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: n/a, delayed by NBA Finals overrun

12:35 a.m.

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

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: n/a, delayed


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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