Tuesday, July 29, 2014

War of 18-49 Update, The Game (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the seventh overall) of The Game on BET.

TimeslotLo AvgHi y2yA18-49+Results
Tuesday 10:001.0 1.301.6 +13%69 detail

Rating the Ratings: It wasn't quite The Game's breakthrough first season on BET, but The Game has re-established itself as one of cable's top draws after a couple seasons of major slippage. Why just a B+ for such a positive season? It has to do with how the series' last season went down. That season had a very weak first half but then rallied to a 1.3 average in the second half of the season. Since I rewarded the show's second half momentum in the last update (giving a B for a season that was -18% overall), I'm nicking this season since the +13% is not perfectly representative of the show's immediate momentum; it was only even with the most recent run. Grade: B+.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for The Game.


Spot said...

The problem with breaking it down is the seasonality of individual programs and how hard the networks are trying. Just as an example: back in Idol's heyday, the weekly league average even deep into April was higher than it was throughout the fall. So a seasonal average would've made April appear "easier" when it's actually much harder for the individual shows (and that's before you account for Idol being huge competition). This effect is not as bad anymore, but there's still a noticeable deflation in January when all the big reality shows are off, even though that should be one of the "easiest" times of year.

As omabin says, the best way would be a more fundamental approach like the True formula. I don't have a good way of using it historically yet, but it at least can help somewhat within this season. (For example, it puts Lucky 7 basically on par with Killer Women/Mind Games, and episode two of L7 was behind any episode of the other two.)

Spot said...

We get to slightly different numbers probably because I am using the average of the month surrounding each airings (two weeks before, two weeks after). But in my formulas Sleepy Hollow is 19 points stronger than Resurrection whereas in yours the difference is 16 points, so it's hardly material, the bottom line seems to be pretty clear.

I think the biggest issue really are these summer shows which seem to be very inflated. Do you have the same effect?

Spot said...

That's actually a very valid point, I hadn't thought about that. I do however think those are "extreme" cases that don't come that often. I tried doing it with a 30 day moving average window (15 days before, 15 days after - except for the first 15 days of the season), and I don't dislike the results, even though I have the issue of the summer staples being overly benefited due to all the low rated stuff that airs and that takes a big chunck of the originals time (news magazines, CW stuff, extreme weight loss for 2 hours, saturday burnoffs, etc etc).

Regardless, I do feel that even if you take a bigger window, let's say even 3 or 4 months, it would likely give you a better proxy than the one you get by taking the entire year for all data points. You may overlook the effect you were mentioning but there are other effects that you overlook by taking the whole year and, to me, this is a clear case of pros weighting the cons.

Using TRUE numbers for both the nominator AND the denominator in that scenario would be ideal though.

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