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Season 8 Ratings Thread

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This will be the Season 8 Ratings thread.  To start if off, I will be doing a three part post to recap Season seven.  The first post will follow this opening post.   This thread will be open for comments, so feel free to ask questions or comment on the various bits that are posted here.    I hope you enjoy the reports on TBBT ratings this year.  


Season 7, for The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) was an major ratings success again this year. This is going to be the first of three articles detailing their ratings this year. This week, I plan to cover the Live + Same Day (SD) ratings. As we have quite a few new members, I will go over some terms that will be used in the three articles, along with the ratings reports that will be used in the upcoming season and, how we get those numbers.   I will go over each of the terms to describe what they mean and how the numbers for those terms are determined.

To begin, The Nielsen company gathers data from electronic boxes that are attached to the television, set top box, or DVR.  There are some boxes that just record the channel that is being watched.  These are also, what are called  “People Meters”.   Individuals enter their specific ID (which is tied to their age and gender) and these meters track what those people are watching, even if they are just channel surfing. In the case of DVRs, it measures what has been recorded and watched up to seven days later.

People with their ID number sign in and out, each time they start or stop watching TV. In the case of multiple people watching the same TV, the ID allows the meter to track how many and when people are watching. The meter could track someone who turns the TV on, and if another person signs in, shows two people watching the same program. If the original person leaves by signing out, it will still be tracking what the other person is now watching.

Nielsen also uses the older diary method (where people write in what they are watching) for several reasons.  First, to validate their statistical model.  Remember, the Nielsen’s are a statistical measure.  The diaries are compared to the set top boxes (both regular and People Meters).  Using this, they can verify that their calculations on the boxes is correct, as the more data you have, the more accurate your results will be.  

 

Also, Nielsen uses the diaries  to gather further demographic data to assist advertisers in targeting specific ages, genders, income, eduction, etc). Each August, Nielsen estimates the number of households in the US that have televisions to use during the season. The current number of households, from May of 2014, is 116,300,000. Note, this is not how many households are tracked by Nielsen, but is the estimated total number, so the various breakdowns can be extrapolated to the total number of .

What follows, are the various terms used in these articles

 


Overnights (or Fast Nationals) Are the preliminary ratings based on 56 metropolitan areas and is time-period based. 

 

Final Ratings: Adjusted (usually based on data included from other than the overnight areas, along with time zone specific data or local preemptions.  

 

Overnight are based on what was scheduled in a specific time.  TBBT is on at 8 PM on Thursdays.  So, it is assumed that a box tuned to CBS at 8 is watching TBBT.  

 

Final Ratings are the adjustments made to the Overnight numbers.  For     example, if a local station is covering a  news item, anyone tuned into that station, is not watching TBBTTBBT is another example for adjustments.  Typically, CBS runs TBBT until 8:31.  That extra minute usually translates into a one or two tenth increase.

 

Live + Same Day (SD): The number of households (and viewers) that watched a program, including DVR viewing until 3 a.m. locally, the next day. At 3 a.m., the data is automatically sent to Nielsen from the box.

Live + 3: The number of households (and viewers) that watch a program up to three days after the program airs. Again, there is a 3 a.m. cutoff.

Live + 7: The number of households (and viewers) that watch a program up to seven days after the program airs. With the 3AM cutoff.

Overnights are announced early the next day.  Live + SD is announced later that afternoon.   Live + 7 is published two weeks after the end of week being measured.  Live + 3 is not usually released.  Networks will release specific shows and specific numbers, it they can make it appear it will help the show.  

 

Currently  a rating called C3 is used to set advertising rates.  The difference between C3 and Live + 3 is the number of people watching the show, up to three days after the it airs.  The C3 is the number of people who watch the the show AND THE COMMERCIALS.   It has been shown that the C3 closely tracks the Live + SD (note, not the Live + 3).   Even so, Live + 3 are closely held by Nielsen and usually it is only found in a press release by a network, for a specific show, at a specific time.

Ratings Point: The percentage of TV household, out of all TV households, that are watching a particular program.

Ratings Share: The percentage of households, WHO HAVE THEIR TV ON, that are watching a particular program.

Note that a Ratings point is one percent of the total households with a TV. Ratings Share point is one percent of the total households with a TV ON. For a simplified example, lets say the total number of TVs is 100 and there are 50 of them on. If 10 TVs are tuned to a specific program, the ratings point would be 10 (10 is 10% of 100). The ratings share would be 20 (10 is 20% of 50).

Total Viewers: The total number of people watching a particular program. More than one person could be viewing a program in one house, say a family of four.

Demo: This is an age breakout of the Ratings points and shares. To advertisers, the most important demo is made up of those people age 18-49 (Although that is slowly changing to 18-34).  This is due to those age groups being harder to reach.  18-49 watch less broadcast TV(and 18-34 watch even less).  So advertisers will pay the most for those shows that have higher numbers in those particular demos.

 

Whenever demo is used in these posts, it means 18-49, unless otherwise specified. There are other breakouts, 18-34, 25-54, etc. This allows advertisers to target ads to age specific populations.



Now that you have a reference, lets look at the Live + SD numbers for TBBT for Season Seven (Sunday Night Football was the highest show in both demo and viewers for Live + Same day viewing.  Now that you know that, I’ll mostly ignore it (and sports) for the rest of these articles),  the 2013-2014 TV season. (Please remember that these are the Live + SD, there are other numbers floating around out there and I’ll get to them in the upcoming articles.)

The season can be roughly divided into four periods, with their average viewers and demo.  2013-14 is in black, the numbers in parentheses, in red, are for Season six (2012-2013):
A.) Before Daylight Savings Time (DST) ended (6 episodes)…….   18.34 million…..5.38      15.40 million....4.9.
B.) From DST ending to the new year (5 episodes)………………    17.48 million…..5.06      17.05 million....5.4.
C.) The new year to DST beginning (6 episodes)……………………18.47 million…..5.24      18.40 million....5.8
D.) After the beginning of DST (7 episodes)………………………....16.30 million…..4.55      16.04 million....4.9

For the year, the show averaged 17.65 million with a 5.1 demo.  (16.65 Million viewers with a 5.3 demo).

 

In raw numbers, the show increased by almost 1 million viewers this year, but it dropped by two tenths in demo.  While that looks bad, it’s not as bad as it appears.  Overall, broadcast viewership dropped by almost 11% this year.  In terms of TBBT numbers, that means it should have dropped to 15 million viewers and a demo of 4.8.   That it increase in viewers and only fell to 5.1(a drop of only 4%), indicates how strong the show still is.  

 

For comparison, I took the top other two shows in terms of viewers and demos, and calculated the change from the previous year.  Remember total TV viewing dropped 11%:

 

Show                 Demo        %Change            Viewers        %Change

TBBT                   5.1               -4%                  17.65               +6%

Modern Family    3.5               -17%                11.06                -11%   

The Voice            3.6               -13%                12.50                -15%

NCIS                   2.8               -11%                 18.50               -5%

NCIS:LA              2.4               -13%                 14.85               -10%                                      


In terms of the demo, TBBT was the highest rated scripted or “reality” show.  The only show over a 5.0 demo (in fact, it was the only show over a 4.0) for the entire season.   It was the only show to break a 6.0 demo and what is more amazing, ONE episode of the voice hit a 5.1, tying TBBT SEASON demo.  That a one episode of The Voice, was the only non-sports episode(note episode, not entire season), on all of broadcast to even TIE TBBT’s season demo. 


Before this season, the most viewed episode was “The Bakersfield Expedition” in season six, and was the first episode to get to 20.00 million viewers. TBBT crossed 20 million viewers twice this year.  The second episode of premiere night, on 26 September,  “The Deception Verification” set the series high of 20.44 million viewers.  On the 9th of January, TBBT set the high for a regular time episode at 20.35 million viewers.  

 

As a reminder from last year, the last “non-event” half hour comedy to break 20 million viewers was “Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005.

Well, that’s it for this article. We’ll have some more coming up on syndication, Live + 7 and some other, what I hope are interesting tidbits.

Feel free to ask questions in the thread, and I’ll answer to the best of my ability, tell you I have to research it, or if I simply don’t have an answer. Constructive criticism, other than questions, are also welcome.

Tensor/Rick K

 

 

Viewers are not the broadcast networks' customers, they're the networks' product.

 

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2015/01/30/broadcast-tv-viewers-youre-not-the-customer-youre-the-product-being-sold-3/357523/

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This is very interesting, Rick.  I'm glad I remembered to go to this report today.  I don't know where I came up with the 22 million viewership.  Must have been comparing it to something else or something I saw on Google+, but regardless, the show's numbers are strong, really out of this world, and hopefully, they will only get stronger as they continue.  When I have more time, I want to go over the report in more detail, but for now, I get the gist, and the gist is GOOD!  Great, in fact!  Thanks for such in depth reporting, and for explaining all the terms and methods of the Neilsen rating system.

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Deb, TBBT hit 22 million quite a few times this year in the Live + 7. And a few times in the Live +3. That may be where you remember it from. I'll cover those over the next week.

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Tensor do you think the Monday night showing will affect viewer numbers?

 

 

The big issue BBT will have to deal with on Monday nights is going up against The Voice, which is currently the strongest competition the show has in general.  Here's where the DVR crowd would come in handy.  Since Nielsen numbers count anyone watching it up until 3 AM (zone time) to count it for the ratings, either fans of both shows will 1) DVR BBt and watch it after The Voice (bad news for CBS launching Scorpion) or they'll DVR The Voice and skip through the commercials they'd miss in the first half-hour.

 

Either way I don't see more than a 10% drop for BBT, which they'll only have to endure for six episodes anyway.

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The big issue BBT will have to deal with on Monday nights is going up against The Voice, which is currently the strongest competition the show has in general.  Here's where the DVR crowd would come in handy.  Since Nielsen numbers count anyone watching it up until 3 AM (zone time) to count it for the ratings, either fans of both shows will 1) DVR BBt and watch it after The Voice (bad news for CBS launching Scorpion) or they'll DVR The Voice and skip through the commercials they'd miss in the first half-hour.

 

Either way I don't see more than a 10% drop for BBT, which they'll only have to endure for six episodes anyway.

Yeah, but The Voice isn't going to like going up against TBBT. In general, TBBT takes more away from other shows, than those shows take away from TBBT. Exceptions are "Events". Last year, "The Sound of Music: Live" took a chuck out of TBBT ratings, as did the NFL Draft. TBBT repeats reduced "The Voice" ratings last year.

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Tensor, will you being doing UK ratings also?

The Big Bang Theory regularly gets 2 million viewers in the UK, and is the most popular programme every week outside the main five UK channels.

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Tensor, will you being doing UK ratings also?

The Big Bang Theory regularly gets 2 million viewers in the UK, and is the most popular programme every week outside the main five UK channels.

I would, but there are several problems. The biggest is I don't have a source for those numbers. If you know of on, by all means pass it on. Another problem is our season here in the US runs from Lete September through the middle of May. After that, I take a break. The way the season runs for the UK, most of the second half of the season, is during the break in the US. So I wouldn't be covering that.

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Stewie

Digital spy usually does the ratings every day, I haven't checked the figures recently though

Edited by rachelshamyfan

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I would be quite happy to post the UK ratings for the new season on this thread or in a new one. Rachel is right- Digital Spy publishes weekly ratings and I know of a couple of other sites that publish UK TBBT ratings also.

Would you mind having them in this thread, Tensor? Or do I need to create a new one?

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I would be quite happy to post the UK ratings for the new season on this thread or in a new one. Rachel is right- Digital Spy publishes weekly ratings and I know of a couple of other sites that publish UK TBBT ratings also.

Would you mind having them in this thread, Tensor? Or do I need to create a new one?

Here would be fine, but I'll send you a PM later today(which I'll assume you'll get tomorrow) and we can discuss the details.

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UK ratings are published in a different way to US ones. We don't have DVR and Live+7 or anything like that. We have the average viewing figure, which, for a new episode of TBBT, usually hovers around the 2.5m mark, and we also have the % share of viewers watching TV at the time, which for a new TBBT might be 10%.

That would be all I could post, along with details about how the show did in competition with the other channels and other programmes, and also how it did compared to last season etc. However, as a considerable proportion of members on the forum are from the UK, I am sure that some members would be interested to see how the show did on a weekly basis.

Thanks,

-Stewie99

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UK ratings are published in a different way to US ones. We don't have DVR and Live+7 or anything like that. We have the average viewing figure, which, for a new episode of TBBT, usually hovers around the 2.5 mIll mark, and we also have the % share of viewers watching TV at the time, which for a new TBBT might be 10%.

That would be all I could post, along with details about how the show did in competition with the other channels and other programmes, and also how it did compared to last season etc. However, as a considerable proportion of members on the forum are from the UK, I am sure that some members would be interested to see how the show did on a weekly basis.

Thanks,

-Stewie99

Same over here Big Bang reguarly gets 1.0-1.5 mill over here in Nz (3mill population in Nz). Two and a half men used to be the most popular syndicated show in Nz, but Big Bang took over in 2010. I would like to track nz ratings but as tensor said the seasons the latter half airs in the states hiatus. Also not sure where to acquire data, so popular tho its the only comedy series that has remained in our wed comedy primetime lineup since 2010, taahm has kinda faded over here. It ended seventh season and its now playing reruns in the same timeslot haha. Im not expecting you do ratings for Nz too Ten, that would be kinda impossible, but like Stewie just curious.

Edited by 3ku11

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hi tensor the big bang gets over imillion viewers in Australia every week very poular programe here luv it

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I thought I'd point this out. CBS moved TBBT due to getting the rights to Thursday Night Football. The preliminary ratings for last night was a 3.3 Demo, with 9.24 million viewers. A mitigating factor was that the game was a blowout by the end of the first quarter, depressing the numbers. However, if you add last week (5.5 demo, 15.91 million) and this week, for the preliminary ratings, Thursday Night Football has averaged a 4.4 demo, with 12.57 Million viewers. Just for comparison, the average TBBT rating from last year was a 5.1, with 17.7 million viewers. The football game starts at 8:30 PM. In TBBT former (and future) time slot is the pre game. That is averaging a 2.9 demo, with 9.9 Million viewers. A bit above half of TBBT Ratings. It's still early, and I expect the football ratings to rise, but I'm no longer sure it will beat last years TBBT ratings.

Next week starts the season. I normally due the Live + 7 on Mondays, but we won't have those numbers until the third week. Also, only the overnights and finals will be available until the second week. I've got a couple of posts that I will put up. Mostly looking at how the season went in Live + 7 and syndication, along with a look at which shows were worth their advertising dollars.

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The Season 8 UK air date should be announced soon. It tends to be late October to early November time.

 

The Season 6 Premiere 'The Date Night Variable' remains the highest rated episode of TBBT in the UK, with viewing figures of 2.8m on it's first showing.

 

The Season 7 Premiere managed 2.32m, but it first aired on 31st October, so Halloween TV Specials might have influenced the ratings.

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Since we don’t have Live + 7 (L7) data for the next two weeks, I thought I would start the year out with a review of the the L7 data.  I’ve already covered some terms and the Live + Same Day   .   I will also cover the “Official” end of year ratings. Just be aware, that the L7 ratings will only include new episodes (24 in the case of TBBT), while the official ratings include all showings in the shows timeslot, including reruns (31 in the case of TBBT).  In addition, there will be a short discussion of the syndicated ratings this year.
 
The L7  includes all DVR viewing for the seven days after the show airs. Last year, I gave the numbers for Sunday Night Football, then ignored it, as it was number one in both viewers and demo.  That didn’t quite happen this year, so I will include it as part of the overall L7.

To start with, the average totals for new shows, in the L7 ratings were  23.24 million viewers, with an 7.5 demo.   This is an increase of almost 3 million viewers (23.2 - 20.3) over last year.    For the demo, it was up three tenths over last year (7.5 -7.2).   
In terms of lift (the increase from the Live + Same Day (L+SD) TBBT was up as they added an average of  5.55 million viewers and 2.5 points in demo.  This was 1.3 million more viewers and 0.5 points more than the lift last year.
 
 
In total viewers, it was the #1 show and in demo it was the #2.   The closest half hour comedy was Modern Family, which finished at #3 in the demo, at 5.6, but was only 9th in total viewers, at 14.3 million.)  Here are the top five in demo and viewers for the L7.
 
Demo
 
Sunday Night Football              7.9
The Big Bang Theory                7.5
Modern Family                          5.6
The Blacklist                             4.9
How I Met Your Mother             4.7
 
Viewers (in millions)
 
The Big Bang Theory                23.10
NCIS                                         22.39
Sunday Night Football              21.53
NCIS:LA                                    17.87
The Blacklist                             16.90              
 
In the official ratings (see below) the first three shows had more viewers than the rest of the shows L+SD.   Now, some of these shows have a lot of DVR viewers, and some have a lot of live viewers.  I’ll point out here that Sunday Night Football gains only a tenth of a demo point and 109,000 viewers.  Yet note that it still had the highest broadcast demo of any show.   With that for perspective, here are the top five demo and viewer DVR lifts:
 
Demo lift
 
The Big Bang Theory                   2.5
Modern Family                             2.1
The Blacklist                                2.0
Grey’s Anatomy                           1.8
Scandal                                       1.6
 
Viewer lift (in millions)
 
The Blacklist                                6.11
The Big Bang Theory                   5.54
Elementary                                   4.57
Modern Family                             4.48
Person of Interest                        4.38
 
 
The Blacklist was the only show whose average gain was over 6 million.   The only other show to cross six million DVR viewers was TBBT, they did that twice.  If you take TBBT DVR numbers (2.5 demo, 5.53 million viewers), it would have been a top 50 show (in the L7 data).  It would have been a top 30 show, for Live + SD.   
 
While TBBT was overall two in demo and one in viewers.  Not counting sports, it was number one in both.  Last year Sunday Night Football was Number one in viewers (as you saw almost all of them during the broadcast).  This year, Two series (TBBT and NCIS) beat them.   It should be pointed out, that while TBBT is the highest rated demo among Scripted, Broadcast shows, there is another show that beats TBBT, and on several nights, actually beat Sunday Night Football head to head.  That show is, of course, The Walking Dead.  It’s L7 demo is 8.6, although it only has 16 million viewers.


Now for some other notes of interest. In the first article, I noted that the season can be roughly divided into four periods, with their average viewers and demo.  2013-14 is in black, the numbers  in red, are for Season six (2012-2013):

A.) Before Daylight Savings Time (DST) ended (6 episodes)…….   18.34 million…..5.38      15.40 million....4.9.
B.) From DST ending to the new year (5 episodes)………………    17.48 million…..5.06      17.05 million....5.4
C.) The new year to DST beginning (6 episodes)……………………18.47 million…..5.24      18.40 million....5.8
D.) After the beginning of DST (7 episodes)………………………....16.30 million…..4.55      16.04 million....4.9

Now, lets look at those periods and DVR ratings for them and compare them to 2012-2013, again this year in black, last year in red:

A.) Before Daylight Savings Time (DST) ended (6 episodes)…......….5.54 million….2.46     4.09 million….1.95
B.) From DST ending to the new year (5 episodes)…………….......…5.51 million….2.48     4.09 million….1.92
C.) The new year to DST beginning (7 episodes)………….....……….5.66 million….2.57     4.15 million….1.94
 D.) After the beginning of DST (6 episodes)………………….....…… 5.47 million….2.41     4.59 million….2.08
 
As you can see, while TBBT increased their Live + Same Day demo and viewers, and they also increased the L7 demo and viewers.  
 
 
 This led to their becoming the number one show in L7, along with the leading broadcast entertainment (non-sports) show in both the Live + Same Day and in the “official” ratings.  Las year,  DVR viewing was basically flat through the first 18 episodes, before increasing rapidly, during the spring. The last four episodes averaged over 4.75 million additional viewers. That continued this year as the DVR viewing grew to over 5 million. 

One last thing to look at is the Official ratings for the year.  These ratings include time-slot reruns.  In this, TBBT again did very well.  Here are the top 5 programs, in demo and viewers for the 2013-2014 season:
 
Demo
 
Sunday Night Football               7.9
The Big Bang Theory                 6.2
The Voice (Monday)                   4.6
Grey’s Anatomy                         4.4
Modern Family                          4.4
 
Viewers (in Millions)         
 
Sunday Night Football             21.5
The Big Bang Theory               20.0
NCIS                                        19.8
NCIS:LA                                   16.0
Dancing With the Stars            15.2
 
 
As you can see, TBBT is over 1.5 demo points ahead of its nearest scripted show.  It also edged out NCIS for the most viewers for an entertainment show.  The first time a comedy has finished first in entertainment since “Friends” finished the  2001-2002 TV season, as the top program.  
 
This year in syndication,  TBBT slipped to fourth, from #1 last year.  They only fell by ~half a household ratings point, but it was enough to fall behind Judge Judy, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.   Remember, TBBT is all repeats, the other three show new episodes for almost the entire season, five days a week.    It was the highest of network scripted series with an average of ~6.5, almost two points ahead of Modern Family.  The weekend TBBT also finished ahead of Modern Family, by about one full point.   This was Modern Family’s first year as in off network syndication. They were on USA network.  


Well, that’s it for ratings for the seventh season.  The one thing about ratings that we don’t really remember is that it’s the ratings that allows a network to set how much is charged for a 30 second advertising spot on various shows.   Next Monday(as we still won't have the L7 data for premiere week.)  I will look at how and when the rates are set, and what those rates were for this past season, with comparisons from other seasons. The data isn’t as extensive for the rates.  Actually, its normally not available as they networks tend to keep those quiet. Ad Week gets an estimate based on asking some questions of the various advertisers.  While they are not completely accurate, they are in the ballpark.  
 
I want to thank those who have spent time reading the wrap up articles, along with the the ratings posts for season seven.  Tuesday, I’ll be putting up the overnight and finals, along the same things I did last year.  Thanks.

 
Tensor/Rick

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I'm so excited for this update tomorrow...................

I'll be refreshing like mad during the late morning. :)

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I'm so excited for this update tomorrow...................

i wouldn't get hopes up too much. Monday night football is Chicago versus New York two big market teams
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i wouldn't get hopes up too much. Monday night football is Chicago versus New York two big market teams

The game isn't on broadcast, it's on cable. There won't be any adjustment to TBBT numbers based on the game. Having the premieres of The Voice and Gotham, on at the same time would affect it a lot more. On the other hand, TBBT will probably affect those two more then they affect TBBT.

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The game isn't on broadcast, it's on cable. There won't be any adjustment to TBBT numbers based on the game. Having the premieres of The Voice and Gotham, on at the same time would affect it a lot more. On the other hand, TBBT will probably affect those two more then they affect TBBT.

I will be hitting the overnights as soon as I get into work tomorrow.  I know Gotham is expected to have an extremely high DVR number (but CW actually prides themselves on being the highest DVR network...mainly due to the demos).  

 

The Voice vs. BBT is what I am most concerned with.  Like I said to Tensor....I expect BBT to win off households...but for the precious advertiser friendly A1849 demo...we'll see....

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The game isn't on broadcast, it's on cable. There won't be any adjustment to TBBT numbers based on the game. Having the premieres of The Voice and Gotham, on at the same time would affect it a lot more. On the other hand, TBBT will probably affect those two more then they affect TBBT.

i'll be honest i don't track this that often but wouldn't the game affect total viewership on broadcast.?

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i'll be honest i don't track this that often but wouldn't the game affect total viewership on broadcast.?

yes, but not to the degree you would think.   Cable numbers (sporting events included) are so much lower than broadcast.  Even #1 shows on cable in primetime don't even stand a chance (generally) against broadcast.  

 

So yes, sports can effect it, but not to the degree you would think.  Plus, BBT went against Thursday Night NFL last year and it didn't impact it.  And NFL numbers tend to be regional too.  The Monday Night & Thursday Night games deliver SOO much lower in comparission to Sunday NFL games.  To give you even more info....Overall Sunday Night NFL over on NBC is more negatively impacted by prime than the reverse.  Usually for the demos, the Sunday day games on CBS & FOX outdeliver NBC NFL numbers.  Again, a lot does have to do with match-ups and if the game is competitive or not.  

Edited by kerrycec03

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