We’ve said throughout this season of Outlander that we hoped to get a small sampling of ratings from external sources at some point. Now, we’ve got some numbers in the form of a couple of DVR samplings.
The Outlander DVR ratings that we have below are ones that we’ve tracked down via TVbythenumbers, and they give you a sense of how many people a week record the series and watch it at some point after the fact. Note here that these ratings are including both the live+same-day viewing ratings we’ve been posting most of the year plus also seven days’ extra DVR viewing. (They’re often called live+7 ratings for short.) They do not include streams from the Starz app or On-Demand viewings — these are just measured DVR viewings of the episode in its original airing in the United States.
We’ve got two samples below — it’s sometimes hard to get DVR ratings for every episode, and since they often take a while to be accumulated we also don’t have them for the finale yet.
“First Wife,” November 5 – The original airing drew a total of 1.64 million viewers, which was enough for it to be the second-highest rating of the season. With the DVR viewers factored in, the episode soared upwards to 2.49 million. That’s an increase of 52%, so over half of the live+same-day viewers for the episode are choosing to watch after the fact.
“Uncharted,” November 26 – This episode drew in its first airing just over 1.4 million, but with DVR viewers added it improved to around 2.14 million. That’s an increase of around 53%, so pretty similar to the “First Wife” estimations. What’s fairly interesting here is that having fewer live viewers for Outlander doesn’t necessarily mean that some of those people are catching it later on their DVR. Either the show just lost some viewers in between “First Wife” and “Uncharted” or they are finding some other means to catch up — maybe they haven’t caught up yet at all.
Why this matters
You already know that Outlander is drawing more than 5 million viewers weekly when you calculate all measures of viewing, including repeats and streams. Why does it matter where they are coming from? To us, it’s important from the vantage point of knowing that not every viewer of the show watches the show the day of it airing. There are some who wait for the Starz airing, some who watch early via the app, and then there are some who watch during the week. We think that sometimes in our coverage we are quick to draw an assumption that the majority of viewers are watching within the first 24 hours of an episode becoming available and that may not necessarily be the case.
From here on out, for every new episode think that just over half of that live viewing audience is probably going to watch in the days after the fact.