Thursday, October 28, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year Index

"Demos Year-to-Year" are daily posts I create during sweeps periods to track how everything in primetime is doing compared to one year earlier. You see a lot of year-to-year stuff brought up by the big ratings analysts, but it's sorta inconsistently applied, so these daily posts put it all in one place. I just use sweeps periods because that's when there's the highest amount of original programming, and I really want to minimize the original-vs.-repeat or repeat-vs.-repeat comparisons. Most of the time, I also do recaps at the end of each Thursday-to-Wednesday week looking at the biggest year-to-year gainers and losers.

Year2Year - All "Demos Year-to-Year" posts.

Daily Y2Y - All the daily year-to-year posts.

Y2Y Summaries - All the weekly summary/recap posts I've done for year-to-year posts.

May Sweeps 2012
February Sweeps 2012
November Sweeps 2011
Premiere Week 2011
May Sweeps 2011
February Sweeps 2011 - Again, light on recap posts for the same Olympics-related reason. Hopefully February 2012 will finally produce some good ones!
November Sweeps 2010
Premiere Week 2010
May Sweeps 2010
February Sweeps 2010 - Didn't do recap posts for this period because the Winter Olympics and the digital TV transition in 2009 created a lot of "bad" comparisons. But all the daily posts are still there.
November Sweeps 2009
May Sweeps 2009

Fall 2010 Returning Show Ratings Roundup

Tomorrow (or maybe Saturday) will mark the triumphant return of my "Demos Year-to-Year" posts for another four weeks! It's the closest thing I have to a daily post about ratings, since I'm generally more of a "big picture" guy than a week-to-week fluctuations guy.

One big picture I haven't looked too much at is how all the returning shows are doing. I've said a lot about the new shows, and so has everyone else, and that's largely because on the week-to-week basis they are most interesting. We'll look at pretty much everything once "Demos Year-to-Year" gets going, but here's a big picture look at a few of those returnees whose pre-sweeps ratings have stuck out to me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What'd Advertisers Think About New Shows?

Last year, I applied what I determined as the average price for 1% of adults 18-49 to all the new show ad rates to try to get a sense of what the advertisers thought about the new shows. After all, their predictions are much more important than any of us randoms on the Internet, since they're throwing a ton of money into this stuff. I'm gonna take another look at that for this year, using the new show ad rates along with the ~$44,000 for a demo point average I derived from comparing all same-timeslot shows' ratings and ad rates. I'll note again that the average is very rough, and perhaps the more important thing here is how the shows line up on the "totem pole" against other new shows.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CW demo: ...or is it?

Way back in my first post on the so-called "CW Demo" of women age 18 to 34, I basically decided that I would start evaluating CW shows based on women 18-34 ratings due to exactly one comparison: Gossip Girl getting about 80% more ad dollars than Supernatural despite it having almost the exact same adults 18-49 rating.

That's not a very solid foundation, but that discrepancy hasn't changed in 2010-11 ad rates: Gossip Girl got 62% more money per 30 second spot than Supernatural ($47,248 vs. $29,100) even though Supernatural actually had over 10% more A18-49 (1.22 vs. 1.09). In this year's case we do have to figure in some speculation, since Supernatural was headed to Friday night, where Smallville took a big year-to-year hit last season. But even if you give Supernatural a 1.00 demo (about what Smallville got last year), that still means Gossip Girl's getting about 50% more bucks per A18-49. That means adults 18-49 is an invalid number for looking at the CDub, right?!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ad Rates Year-to-Year

It's often said that the broadcast TV model is going to die whenever the advertisers finally "realize" they are spending more and more money for a smaller and smaller piece of the TV viewing pie.

Apparently the 2010 upfront was not when that happened.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Revisiting "Peetooplus" - It's Still a Demo World

A little over ten months ago, I embarked on a journey to "prove," using what very little advertising cost data is available to the public, that the number of adults age 18-49 watching a program is much more important than the number of viewers of all ages. Yesterday, Ad Age released the 2010-11 version of the article from which I got all the numbers. In the article, you can read all the disclaimers about how these numbers are pretty rough estimates and not indicative of all the ad buying, but I think they're close enough to get a good idea about some trends. I'll look at a couple other things with these numbers later this week, but for now I wanted to start with a redux of my "Peetooplus" project that looks at total viewers and young adult demo viewers vs. ad rates.

This year, I looked at 48 fall programs that returned to the same timeslot. That's way more than I had last year, since I now have averages for several returning shows that I didn't last year. (To reiterate from last year's version, I just look at same timeslot shows to try to limit the influence of speculation in the ad rates, but no doubt it's still a factor.) The next two scatter plots show Live + Same Day, original only adults 18-49 average vs. ad rates and then total viewer average vs. ad rates.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breaking Down "Live + Same Day": New Show DVRing

In the last two posts, I've tried to spell out exactly what we mean when we say a "Live + Same Day" rating. I've looked at some of the most/least same day DVRed shows as well as the inherent (if fairly small) disadvantage that the 10:00 hour has in same day DVRing and by extension in the Live + SD numbers we all treat as gospel.

This time, I'm looking at new shows. To record a program on the DVR, you do have to engage with/be aware of a show that hasn't aired yet. Not that it's a lot of work, but the show doesn't magically appear. We DVRers do this with shows we like, we don't do it with shows we don't like. And new shows, AKA shows we don't know whether we like or not?  Well...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Breaking Down "Live + Same Day": DVRing at 10:00

The 10:00 hour has been a rough zone for broadcast entertainment programming lately. In week 2 of the season, the highest-rated entertainment program in adults 18-49 was Hawaii Five-0 at a 3.6. Many people say that Hawaii Five-0's ratings to date have been disappointing, but that 3.6 was still four-tenths above anything else entertainment at 10:00. (And its lead over the 10:00 field figures to grow in week 3 unless you count Undercover Boss, which was not regularly scheduled at 10:00 but mostly aired there on Sunday night due to NFL overrun.) Here's the thing: that 3.6, easily the king of 10:00, finished behind sixteen other entertainment programs that week. We've come a long way from the days when ER aired at 10:00 and trounced everything else on TV.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Breaking Down "Live + Same Day"

Most ratings we see and discuss every day are "Live + Same Day DVR," which means the people who watch the program live plus the people who watch via a DVR within the "same day," or between the air time and 3:00am when the numbers get sent to Nielsen for processing. We all know DVRs play a big role in viewing, but when I think about DVR viewing, I mostly think about some of the later numbers (Live + 7 days of DVR viewing, for example). That's not really accurate, though. How about DVRs simply within the Live + Same Day numbers we're used to seeing?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NBC's Zero-Sum Shakeup?

Scheduling rant time! There's been a fair amount of buzz on the Internets today about a post on Deadline about a potential NBC sked shake-up that would see the horrifically-rated The Apprentice moved to Wednesday at 9, Law & Order: SVU up an hour to Wednesday at 10, and Law & Order: LA to Thursday 10. What's shocked me is how many people seem receptive to the move. Here's the usual rationale: "Law & Order: SVU would be up because it's a 10:00 show! Law & Order: LA would hold up well on Thursday because it's a recognizable brand! The Apprentice couldn't do any worse!"

I say: don't do it, NBC!

First Two Weeks, Blue Bloods


Monday, October 4, 2010

CW demo: Hellcats, Nikita, etc. vs. Broadcast Competition

About two and a half weeks ago before there was much of anything else to say about TV ratings, I wrote a post attacking the notion that we should ignore all CW ratings before the other broadcast networks premiere. Now that we're two weeks into the traditional season, we can see whether I was correct to say that.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First Two Weeks, "The System" Observations

Here's "the system" through the Thursday premiere week premieres.

First Two Weeks, "The System" Explanation

Noticed I was filling up my "the system" post with lots of fine print about explanations and changes, so I've decided to split it into two. This one has all the bureaucratic stuff, and then I'll have another shorter one up in a few minutes with some observations about how the shows and networks are doing. So you can read this one if you're interested in "the system," or the next one if you're just interested in what it means for the shows. I won't be spilling much more ink about "the system" going forward, and I don't really consider it anything worth bragging about; it's just a little experiment alongside my "First Two Weeks" posts to see if it's possible to accurately predict the fates of new shows really early on.

Friday, October 1, 2010

First Two Weeks, Outsourced


First Two Weeks, $#*! My Dad Says


First Two Weeks, My Generation


First Two Weeks, A Preview of "The System"

Won't have the official post with more explanation up until over the weekend, but in case you don't check by here over the weekend, just wanted to give a quick peek at what "the system" will look like through two weeks of Fall 2010.  The reason this is preliminary is because the Thursday ratings are still preliminary at this point. That could be significant because stuff like $#*! and Outsourced which are currently on the border between the second and third levels in the retention category might see a points adjustment.

First Two Weeks, The Defenders


First Two Weeks, Better with You


First Two Weeks, Undercovers


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