While there is some DVR data available out there, it is hard to get it, some of the time. Many cable networks don’t report it publicly, and even with major networks, you have to look sometimes for compilations online to figure out weeks later how many viewers a show really got when you factor in record. For those new to the TV industry, “live+7 data” translates to mean the total viewers for a show including both the live airing and seven days of recordings after the fact. It typically does not factor in internet viewing, since that differs from station to station.
FX has already started a trend here, and now only report ratings once the live+3 data is coming in. CBS, meanwhile, is doing something much more interesting. For all of their upcoming shows, they will report not just live+same day ratings, but also project what they believe the DVR viewing will be. In a statement, CEO Les Moonves had the following to say:
“L7 and C7 are the metrics that more accurately account for how viewers watch our shows and how we get paid for our programming – both in advertising and content licensing … C7 deals were a significant part of our Upfront negotiations this year, and we are doing more and more C7 deals all of the time. As new technologies continue to improve audience measurement across all platforms, these more precise metrics are becoming the industry standard, benefitting advertisers and content providers alike.”
How will this work? “NCIS,” for example, will see both its live+same day results and the projected live+7 data released on a Wednesday, and we imagine the goal here is to make the number look even more impressive since only a few go back and check the final numbers weeks later. As for how they will project these, that is an interesting question. Our assumption is that they will look at past history for that show, the genre, the timeslot, competition, and other factors that could lead to a high DVR viewership. Shows have been known to add millions of viewers and also big demo numbers after the fact.
Specifically, we cite a show like “NCIS” as a potential beneficiary because of its popularity and because it is recorded frequently; many other procedural dramas, including “Criminal Minds” and “Elementary,” can also benefit from this.
We’ll see how this works when the fall season officially begins next week, but color us intrigued.
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