Friday, January 25, 2013

The Climate, Week 17

The War of 18-49 returns on Monday, so I'm "burning off" a quickie Climate post today to reduce the clutter next week.


Week Ending TPUT y2y bc y2y LeAv y2y
1312/23/201231.5 +2% 6.5 +7% 2.26 +16%
1412/30/201230.9 -4% 5.3 -6% 0.73 -42%
151/6/201334.2 -4% 7.1 -18% 1.90 -18%
161/13/201334.6 -4% 8.7 -10% 2.01 -8%
171/20/201334.5 -7% 8.8 -19% 2.25 -11%


Week Ending TPUTy2d y2dy2y bcy2d y2dy2y LAy2d y2dy2y
19/30/201232.4 -6% 9.2 -16% 2.50 -15%
510/28/201233.3 -3% 8.8 -10% 2.31 -13%
911/25/201233.5 -3% 8.8 -9% 2.26 -12%
1312/23/201233.4 -2% 8.5 -6% 2.24 -10%
1412/30/201233.2 -2% 8.3 -6% 2.23 -10%
151/6/201333.3 -2% 8.2 -7% 2.21 -10%
161/13/201333.4 -3% 8.2 -7% 2.20 -10%
171/20/201333.4 -3% 8.3 -8% 2.20 -10%

American Idol return week was the worst of the season for the broadcasters on a year-to-year basis, and it was also down the most in overall viewing. But Idol actually didn't have that much to do with it; as you can see, the league average decline was -11%, which is close to in line with the season-to-date level. While its premiere was down 19% year-to-year, it made up for it on Thursday by significantly building in the timeslot (since Fox had just a one-hour Idol and an episode of The Finder last year).

The real drag on the broadcast numbers was Sunday, where CBS' AFC Championship Game was nearly five points weaker than the year-ago Fox game, and the post-game entertainment show (Hawaii Five-0) was over four points below last year's American Idol. Overall, the big four were down about 35% on Sunday, overall viewing was down an estimated 12%, and it was by far the highest-rated and highest-viewed night overall (so it contributed the most to the average decline).

A few network notes: Fox got a three-point bounce in Idol return week in the relative entertainment averages (91 -> 94), meaning it's already passed ABC (92) and moved into third place. Voice-free NBC was at 106 three weeks ago and is already down to 102. CBS' lead in entertainment average is widening (currently at 109).

Click to expand for more on the "climate" numbers used herein.

TPUT - This is an ESTIMATED average of how many people are watching TV from 8:00 to 11:00.
  • I derive these numbers by adding up all the ratings and dividing by all the shares in each of the 42 half-hours each week. That means there is some error relative to the numbers Nielsen actually releases. Sadly we don't regularly have access to those. I always advise not to rely heavily on these numbers for any one show in any one week, but the hope is that the error is minimized across a 42-timeslot sample every week.
  • I include the Old Methodology adjustment, which makes the number more like a measurement of how many people watch primetime programming Live + SD, rather than a measurement of how many people watch any TV (including old DVR stuff) from 8:00 to 11:00. This makes the number perhaps less intuitive in a vacuum, but it's pretty much a wash when making week-to-week and year-to-year comparisons, which is what we're really interested in.
bc - This is an average of how many people are watching national broadcast TV from 8:00 to 11:00.
  • This does NOT include the 10:00 adjustment used in the True2 calculation which attempts to account for Fox/CW programming and stronger cable. Again, that perhaps hurts the number in a vacuum, because the 10:00 numbers being used only include three networks, so I'm averaging timeslots that are somewhat apples-to-oranges. But again, it's a wash when making comparisons because I treat it that way all the time. It would not really change week-to-week or year-to-year comparisons, and that's what I mostly care about.
  • Another important note here is that these numbers include the preliminary averages for "sustaining" programming like presidential debates and commercial-free benefit concerts whose numbers are typically omitted from traditional Nielsen averages. I might eventually omit these from this particular calculation, but they're needed on my spreadsheets to 1) make PUT calculations in those timeslots and 2) create a competition number for the entertainment shows that air against them.
LeAv - This is a measurement of how many people watch the average moment of original entertainment series programming on the big four networks. Meaning, no sports, no reruns, no specials, no movies, no sustaining programming included.

Note: Beginning with week 9, all numbers compare against the next numbered week in the 2011-12 season. So week 9 compares against week 10 of 2011-12, etc. This was done to make the comparisons more calendar-friendly. See here for more on that.

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