Last updated: 12/22/2011
Welcome to my blog about TV ratings!
Why should you read this one? I focus on two things that I feel are fairly important but that get short shrift in most media outlets:
1. Ratings History. I've said in several other posts (including previous drafts of this page) that I view TV ratings in much the same way I and many others view sports statistics. I have a great deal of interest in and respect for their history. I think many people consider historical ratings comparisons to be "tainted" by the rise of cable and alternative viewing methods, and that's valid for some purposes. But a good historical foundation can help us figure out just how much of an impact those things are having and give us some sense of how much of a show's drop is "normal."
My main hub for ratings history is The War of 18-49 project. It started in summer 2010 with my massive mining of countless media sources and Internet buddies for all the adults 18-49 ratings data I could find. Then I wrote "stories" of sorts about the ratings history of quite a few current and recently ended primetime programs. Combined with lists of individual data points in the SpotVault, this comprises what I think is the premier archive for historical adults 18-49 ratings information on the Internet.
2. Ratings Behavior. Beyond "what happens" in TV ratings, I'm also really interested in "why it happens." Almost everybody who comments on TV ratings gives the "why" at least a little treatment. For example: "It only got good ratings because it aired after American Idol! These normally bad ratings are pretty good for a Friday!" Most of those treatments (and most of my own) are relatively superficial and based on a sort of gut-feel.
In summer 2011, I launched the True Strength project, my effort to put real numbers to some of those gut-feels. After researching ratings behavior from the 2010-11 season, I created an equation that can turn a "raw" adults 18-49 rating into something that accounts for the big external factors - overall viewing levels, timeslot competition and lead-in. This number still has plenty of flaws, but I like to think it's a relatively unique undertaking (at least in a public setting) and an OK start that I can further develop going forward.
You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just send me a reply on twitter at @spotupj.