In this week’s Outlander season 4 episode 3 ratings preview, we are constructing things in a slightly-different way than before. Will we still make a prediction? Certainly, but there are a number of other issues at play that are worth a little bit of conversation.
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The first issue we want to highlight is simply this: The need for a consistent measurement of multiplatform viewership for a number of different broadcast and cable networks. We’re in an era now where more regulation on these sorts of things is important. As we’ve stressed over the course of the past several weeks, live viewership does matter as a litmus test for casual viewer support. While most diehard Outlander fans are going to be watching early via the app (us included), there is still value in knowing what traditional television viewers are going to be doing. That matters to Starz to a certain extent because casual viewers are the ones that can be swayed to become superfans of the show (which is easy to expect with a show as good as this). As long as the story of the series remains strong, the diehard viewership will remain loyal and keep tuning in.
This brings us back to our issue of multiplatform regulation. By this, we mean having a system that accurately charts DVR viewership, internet streams, and app / On-Demand views in a reasonably timely fashion. As things are, this information is processed and stored by the broadcaster (Starz), and there is no obligation to share things publicly. They are entitled to do what they want, yet there is some value in releasing this information for public consumption, most notably that it could fuel more viewer drive and attention for a show.
The assumption to make based on the live numbers is that the ratings for this season of Outlander are down. Yet, that may not actually be the case stateside … but how would we know for sure? Knowing comprehensive ratings allows fandoms to rally or, in the case of new shows, it may encourage viewers to watch live. Sometimes, viewers can be scared off of checking out a show if they look at the live+same-day numbers and think “oh, that’s going to get canceled. I won’t get into it.” Yet, if they can see the larger picture and realize it’s more of a hit than they realized, that could help to generate a little more attention. This is something that could’ve benefited further such cable shows as Sweetbitter, Kidding, and Vida.
Our Outlander season 4 episode 3 ratings prediction
Think around 855,000 live viewers. This is the first time this season we’ve predicted a decline, and it’s mostly for this reason: There are a lot of people already in the holiday shopping season or preparing for Thanksgiving. It may be harder this weekend to convince people to sit down and watch the show live.
What are some of your personal ratings expectations for Outlander season 4 episode 3? Be sure to share some of your thoughts in the comments. (Photo: Starz.)