Monday, June 1, 2020

Final League Averages for 2019-20

I put this in a Disqus comment last year, but decided to give it an actual post and a few brief comments this year!

Rating (Live+SD)LeAvy2y
adults 18-490.82-14%
women 18-490.97-14%
men 18-490.66-13%
adults 18-340.47-14%
women 18-340.55-15%
men 18-340.39-14%
adults 25-541.18-13%
total viewers (millions)5.01-7%

I spent a lot of time talking about the COVID effect last week, but a quick look at the subdemos reveals the stay-at-home effect was even more pronounced with the bottom half of the 18-49 demo. Through week 24, we were at -18% in A25-54, -20% in A18-49 and -22% in A18-34, which is a relatively typical way for those three demos to break down. But those three declines were very much flattened out by season's end, thanks to the spring period. Last week I mentioned that the DST portion was up in raw numbers (albeit less than 1%) year-to-year in adults 18-49, but it was up almost 5% in adults 18-34!

Live+SD adults 18-490.82-14%
Live+3 adults 18-491.15-15%
Live+7 adults 18-491.25-16%
Live+SD total viewers (m)5.01-7%
Live+3 total viewers (m)6.55-7%
Live+7 total viewers (m)6.97-8%

I don't have many years of full DVR league averages to make this point the way I'd like to, but it did strike me as rather noteworthy that the delayed league averages were down more year-to-year than Live+SD. I doubt that has been the case for most of the DVR era. I had a couple theories on this: 1) COVID drove people who would watch on delay into the Live+SD window; and 2) this was a big year for unscripted programming, both in terms of volume and ratings, and that messed with the delayed averages because it generally has low DVRing.

Both of these things probably had some effect; looking in the DST period, Live+SD was up 1%ish in raw numbers while Live+3 was down 4% and Live+7 down 6.5%. But even if I whittle it down to the most favorable slice of the season (just scripted programming from weeks 1-24), it's virtually the same decline (-23%) in all three windows. So this was really not a year when you could "wait for the DVR numbers" to make things look healthier, at least not in a macro sense. Maybe this was an early sign that DVRing has plateaued as a behavior?

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