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Tensor

Season 9 Ratings Thread

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Well, it's that time again.  This is the first post in the Season 9 ratings thread.  Similar to last year, here are the plans for the ratings, while TBBT is on Monday:

Monday will have the Live + 7.   This is usually delayed by three weeks.  I usually put it up around noon EST 

Tuesday will have the the Live + Same Day ratings.  This includes the overnights, including households, demo, and viewers, along with the final daily ratings for TBBT.  Households is usually out around 9:30-10 AM EST.  The overnight demo and viewers is usually out around 11:30 AM EST.  The final daily ratings are usually out around 4:30-5:30 PM EST.  

Wednesday will have the top ten programs for the previous week for demo and viewers.  Also, around noon. 

Thursday will have the syndication ratings for two weeks previous. Again, around noon.

Friday will usually be an off day, but I will occasionally write a post on some kind of ratings information. 

Once TBBT moves to Thursday, the top ten programs post moves to Tuesday,  the syndication post moves to Wednesday, and the overnight and final ratings postsmove to Friday.   Thursday becomes the day where an information post will go.   

While those times are the usual times I get the ratings, holidays, and various other things sometimes delay the information.   If it will be delayed (or even not available), I usually try to let everyone know with a post.  

Over the next few days, I'll be putting up a post on what exactly those terms (Live + SD, Live + 7, demo, etc) mean, and how the ratings are gathered, so new members, who don't know those terms, will be able to follow along.  And, of course, if anyone has a question, feel free to post it in this thread and I'll do my best to answer it.

I'll also have a post on how TBBT did last year, compared to 2013-2014 and 2012-13, along with how it did compared to other shows last year.   There will also be some information on how TBBT repeats did last year (hint, the repeat ratings were higher than the average of all the new shows).  

 

Tensor

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To begin the season, I'll explain how the Nielsen company gets the data, and what some of the terms mean.  


The Nielsen company gathers data in several ways, from a couple of different electronic boxes that are attached to the television, set top box, or DVR to the old fashioned diary method. Nielsen still 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 can also be 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, incomes, eductions, etc).

There are some boxes that just record the channel that is being watched.  Again, these are compared to the diaries to validate their statistical model, but are also used to get some quick data.   These are also, what are called  “People Meters”.   Homes that have People Meters, have 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 thirty days after it was on.

People with their ID number sign in and out of the people meters, 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 can 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.

Usually, 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, with 296 million viewers, age 2 and older.  Note, this is not how many households are tracked by Nielsen, but is the estimated total number, so the various breakdowns can be extrapolated, statistically, to the total number of households and viewers, along with the various breakdowns.

Here are the various terms I usually use in the ratings articles. 

Overnights (or Fast Nationals):  Are the preliminary ratings based on 56 metropolitan areas and is based on the Live + Same Day ratings.   Overnights are based on what was scheduled in a specific time.  TBBT starts the season on Monday's, at 8 PM.  So, in overnights, it is assumed that a box tuned to CBS at 8 PM on Monday, is watching TBBT.   

Final Ratings: are the Overnight ratings, including adjustments for various reasons.  For example, lets say a Chicago station has a special news bulletin for damage by a tornado in the Chicago area, or what happens a lot in the fall, a local football team is playing, the number of people watching the CBS station in Chicago would be deducted from the overnight ratings.  Final ratings also include adjustments made when actual numbers (those are originally estimated based on the metropolitan areas) outside the 56 Metropolitan areas are reported.    Also as CBS typically runs TBBT until 8:31.  That extra minute can add 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.  The overnights are usually released around 11 to 11:30 AM EST.  The finals are usually released around 4-5 PM EST.  

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.  The Live + 3 is usually not released, although a network may use a specific show's Live + 3 to promote an unusual increase to promote the show.

Live + 7: The number of households (and viewers) that watch a program up to seven days after the program airs. With the 3AM cutoff.  Live + 7 comes out on the Monday three weeks after the week the show was broadcast.

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 households out of all TV households, or percentage of a particular total or demo that are watching a particular program.

Ratings Share: The percentage of households (or a particular total or demo), WHO HAVE THEIR TV ON, out of all households (or a particular total or demo) 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 the various breakouts of the Ratings points and shares.  Age, gender, education level, race, etc. are all different demos.   Most of the publicly available breakouts are based on age.   In general, (I say this as I myself, am an exception to these generalizations) those people over 50 watch the most broadcast TV.   The demo of 18-49 is, currently, what is used in ratings, as this group watches less than those over 50, so advertisers want to advertise on those show that have more of those viewers.   The demo of 18-34 watch the least amount of broadcast TV, so shows that have this demo are really looked at closely by advertisers.    Unless otherwise specified, the term demo, when used in these posts, means the 18-49 demo.

My next post will be looking at how TBBT did last year, compared to the previous two years.   If there are any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll try my best to give you an answer. 

Edited by Tensor
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Well, Happy Premiere day.

I'm going to do an overall look and a quick comparison between season 8 and season 9 here.  I'll be using the Live + Same Day and the Live + 7 ratings.  While the "Official Ratings" use the C3, I don't have access to those, except for the end of the year.  However, the C3 tracks pretty closely to the Live + Same Day (L + SD).   One thing to remember, overall Broadcast Television viewing, in the 18-49 demo, was off by 11% during season. For the definition of any terms, see the previous post.

Overall, in L + SD Season 7 averaged 17.69 Million viewers.  During season 8, the average was 16.15, a drop, on average of 1.54 million, or 8.72%, which looks better than the 11% for demo.  However, TBBT demo during season 7 averaged 5.07 and during season 8 only 4.32, a drop of 0.75 points, or 14.7%.  This is the first time TBBT has dropped more than the season average (except for season 4, it's move to Thursday).   

For the Monday episodes, the average number of viewers were 16.68, while the viewers for the Thursday episodes was 15.97.  This is 700,000 viewers less, on Thursday.  As far as demo goes, the first six episodes had an average of 4.9 in demo, while the Thursday episodes only had a 4.1.  Thursday's demo was eight tenths less than Monday's demo, a 20% drop.   

For Live + 7 between season 7 and season 8, while viewers and demo were both down (down 1.81 million viewers, .095 in demo), percentage wise, the drop wasn't as bad as the Live + SD (7.81% in viewers and 12.63% in demo.   In terms of the Monday vs Thursday split for Live + 7, the Thursday episodes averaged 1.2 million less viewers than the Monday episodes.  Demo for Live + 7 on Thursdays was down nine tenths of a demo point. 

For the first time since season five, TBBT failed to hit 20 million viewers in Live + SD for an episode and for the first time since season four, TBBT was under 14 million for an episode, which happened twice.   In addition, TBBT didn't hit a 6.0 demo for the first time since season five and was under a 4.0 demo seven times.  The first time it had multiple episodes below four for the first time since season four (it was below 4 once in season 7).   As a matter of fact, the last six episodes in season 8 were below a 4.0, and averaged less than a 3.6. 

Now, before everyone gnashes their teeth and wails, TBBT was still the number one comedy by more than a point over Modern Family in demo.  As I mentioned, TBBT averaged a 4.3 demo, while Modern Family had a 3.2.  In viewers it seemed even further ahead, as Modern Family didn't even average 10 million viewers.  

There is another way to look at things.    For instance lets look at Friends' final year.  Due to its huge final (a 24 demo, yeah, 24.  TBBT highest demo was a 6.2) Friends finished the season with an average of 12.4 demo for the year.  If you compare this with the average non-repeat show demo across all shows for that year, which was 4.2, and set that average demo at 100,  you get a score of 303 for their final year. 

Look at that broadcast demo average for a second (4.2), and remember, TBBT was the number one comedy with a 4.3 last year.  But, if you compare that 4.3 to the average non-repeat show demo last year, which was only a 1.68 demo, you end up with a score of 256 for last year.  As a matter of fact, since the 18-49 demo became the standard used to determine ratings champions in the late 90s, out of the top four years for a half hour comedy, first is Friends, with that 303.  Second is season 7 of TBBT with a 269, third was season eight of TBBT with a 256, and four was season six of TBBT with a 249.  

I've got a few other things to point out, which I'll put up later on Monday.

 

Tensor.

Edited by Tensor
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Thank you Tensor, very interesting post! I have a question: during the summer I understand there were reruns of Season 8. Do you know if they get high ratings?  If so, in your opinion this can mean that the ratings at the beginning of Season 9 will be higher than those of Season 8? I know it's hard to say...just your "feelings" about it!

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Another question, Tensor, if you have the time.  Is the Big Bang decline parallel to that of all television shows, this year, in terms of audience, or did others rise or stay steady?  I really appreciate your careful analysis and your knowledge.

 

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Ginny, it was different for each show.   For instance, two years ago Modern Family was off by almost %, last year it was down by 16% when the overall drop was 12%.  Last year, it was down 10%, when the drop was 11%.     Two years ago, TBBT dropped 8% (with an overall drop of 12%) and last year it dropped almost 15%, when the drop was 11%.  Some shows actually increased, even with the drop.  

Mirs, I'll get to your question a bit later, I have to look some things up first.   

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That helps me, Tensor.  So, in season 8, it was down 4 percent more than the average show for the year.  I appreciate your encyclopedic knowledge.  By the way, I appreciated your demo comparisons for TBBT over the past few years.  They appear sturdy and impressive, compared with others.

 

 

Edited by Ginny Hamilton
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Ginny, it was different for each show.   For instance, two years ago Modern Family was off by almost %, last year it was down by 16% when the overall drop was 12%.  Last year, it was down 10%, when the drop was 11%.     Two years ago, TBBT dropped 8% (with an overall drop of 12%) and last year it dropped almost 15%, when the drop was 11%.  Some shows actually increased, even with the drop.  

Mirs, I'll get to your question a bit later, I have to look some things up first.   

Thank you tensor, hope that it is not much an inconvenience!

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Thank you Tensor, very interesting post! I have a question: during the summer I understand there were reruns of Season 8. Do you know if they get high ratings?  If so, in your opinion this can mean that the ratings at the beginning of Season 9 will be higher than those of Season 8? I know it's hard to say...just your "feelings" about it!

I don't have all the ratings for the the summer, but those I do have, along with the ratings I don't have but I could find online, has the show between a 1.5 and a 1.6 demo, with an average of around 7-8 million viewers, for the summer.  That is really outstanding for summer re-runs in this day and age (and remember that the average for a new show during the regular season was only 1.68).  The only entertainment shows (that's non-sports) that consistently beat it were new episodes of shows, such as Big Brother, Under the Dome, etc.  These normally had around a 2.0 (plus or minus) with about 6 million viewers (yes TBBT repeats generally had the most viewers). 

As for the coming season.  As high as the ratings were this summer, they were still down from around 2.0 for the summer between seasons 7 and 8.    I don't see the ratings for this year being as high as last year, because the drop off during the spring was just too steep.  Remember, up until last year, TBBT hadn't had a episode under a 4.0, except for once in season seven, since season four.  The last six episodes last year were all under 4.0.   In general, the spring ratings are a good indicator where the show could finish the next year.   My best guess would be it starts around 4.2 - 4.5, then settling into the 3.0s  throughout the winter.  I can see it dropping into the upper 2.0s a couple of times in the spring.  Overall for the year, my prediction would be it finishes around 3.5 - 3.7, around a 15-20% drop.

Now, if general viewing drops off by 11-12 % as it has for the last 6-7 years, then the average new episode will be around a 1.5 or so, meaning the show will still have twice the ratings of the average show, and it still should be the number one comedy, but it could  (note could) be it's last year as such.

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Thank you...that's really interesting!!! And thank you for the time you devoted to my question!

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Week 01 Overnights: Households and Top 25 Demo, 22 September, 2015

 

TBBT ran the premiere episode for season 9, 9.01 The Matrimonial Momentum at 8:00 PM and pulled in an 11.6 household rating with an 18 share last night.  TBBT was first in households, with that 11.6/18. In second was The Voice with a 8.0/12 and in third was Dancing with the Stars at 7.9/12.

That is a bit higher than I thought.  Based on last year, this should be around a 5.2 with around 18 million

I don't have the Top 25 markets, as of yet and if/when I get them, I'll add them here.  The vewers and demos should be up shortly.

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Week 01 Overnight Demo and Viewers 22 September, 2015

The new premiere episode 9.01 The Matrimonial Momentum had a 4.5 with 17.63 million viewers, which placed it first in Demo and viewers. This was down a whole demo point and 1.3 Million viewers from last years premiere.  


For viewers, second was second hour of The Voice with 13.02 Million and third was the second hour of Dancing with the Stars with 11.93 million. In demo, second was The Voice with a 3.5 and in third was the new NBC Show, Blindspot, with a 3.1

For the 18-34 demo, TBBT was first with a 2.8, The Voice was second with a 2.3 and Blindspot was third with a 1.9.   In the 25-54 demo, TBBT had a 6.3, The Voice was second with a 4.5  and Blindspot was third with a 4.0.  

We only have partial Top 25 numbers, TBBT currently leads with a 5.1 demo.  I was a bit optimistic on the demo, this may be due to the overall drop in viewers for broadcast television.  This would make household share worth less than last year, leading to my over estimate. 


Tensor

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Week 01 Final Ratings For Monday, September 21, 2015 broadcasts, 22 September, 2015

At 8:00 PM, the new episode of TBBT, 9.01, The Matrimonial Momentum, brought in a 4.7 , with 18.20 million people, up two tenths  in demo and up (570,000) viewers from the overnights. This was still down eight tenths from last years premiere, but up 170,000 in viewers. 

In first place, for demo, was TBBT with that 4.7.  In second was The Voice at 3.5 , even with the overnights.  In third was  the new show Blindspot with a 3.1, Even with the overnights.   For viewers, TBBT was number one with those 18.20 million viewers. The Voice was second with 12.37 million, down about 800,000 from the overnights.  Dancing with the Stars was in third at 11.46 million viewers, down 470,000 from the overnights.

The demo a bit higher than I thought, (I said 4.2-4.5) but I'll give myself the 18 million I said as close enough.  Overall, while down 15% in demo, it did pull in more viewers than last years premiere.  When you consider the rest of the ratings, this is still pretty damn good, especially in it's ninth year.  We'll have to see how the rest of the season plays out, but it is, ratings wise, a good start.  

 

Tensor

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While I am interested in seeing if this downward trend continues in ratings I am really curious about the most important number from a business stand point, Advertising revenue.

But I have no idea where to find those numbers

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While I am interested in seeing if this downward trend continues in ratings I am really curious about the most important number from a business stand point, Advertising revenue.

But I have no idea where to find those numbers

I don't have this year's yet, however you can look over last years ad rates (2014-2015) here.  Once I get the numbers for this year, I'll do a similar post. 

 

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I don't have this year's yet, however you can look over last years ad rates (2014-2015) here.  Once I get the numbers for this year, I'll do a similar post. 

 

I am gonna buy you a cape :icon_razz:

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Although it's not TBBT, Bill Prady's new venture, The Muppet Show, brought in a very respectable 2.8 demo, with just under 9 Million.   CBS' new comedy "Life in Pieces" premiered to a 2.6, with 11 Million viewers.   The big difference was Life in Pieces premiere after TBBT, with 18 million viewers at the start.  The Muppet Show came in with no lead in except local broadcasts, as it starts the night.  So, it's a good start for The Muppet Show.  

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Although it's not TBBT, Bill Prady's new venture, The Muppet Show, brought in a very respectable 2.8 demo, with just under 9 Million.   CBS' new comedy "Life in Pieces" premiered to a 2.6, with 11 Million viewers.   The big difference was Life in Pieces premiere after TBBT, with 18 million viewers at the start.  The Muppet Show came in with no lead in except local broadcasts, as it starts the night.  So, it's a good start for The Muppet Show.  

I find it coincidental that on of the first things that hhappened was a Kermit/Piggy breakup... Just saying. :rtfm:

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I find it coincidental that on of the first things that hhappened was a Kermit/Piggy breakup... Just saying. :rtfm:

Are you spoiled for the X-Files revival?

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The three day increases for TBBT, from DVR viewing were an increase of 1.7 demo points, from 4.7 to 6.4(36%).   While there was an increase of 4.29 million viewers, from 18.20 million to 22.49 million (24%).  We don't normally get the three day lifts, but CBS had one of the biggest three day lifts and so they were bragging.  Something I don't normally look at here, the 25-54 demo went from 6.5 to 8.6, an increase of 2.1(32%)

 

 

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That's quite a boost, I see why they changed the ratings to include that delayed viewing group

One question is that an actual number or one extrapolated from monitored households?

Edited by JE7

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That's quite a boost, I see why they changed the ratings to include that delayed viewing group

One question is that an actual number or one extrapolated from monitored households?

Well, the official ratings don't really change.  You can see all sorts of these type press releases every day of the week. One of the funniest (at least in my opinion) was the attempt by ABC to push Castle.  Here is the release:

The season premiere of ABC’s Castle shot up +58% over its L+SD Adult 18-49 rating, making it Monday’s biggest percentage gainer in TV playback on the major networks, tied with CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles. The L+3 lift for Castle was larger than Fox’s Gotham premiere (+56%) and Minority Report debut (+55%), NBC’s Blindspot debut (+42%) and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory premiere (+36%).

 In fact, Castle scored its biggest-ever L+3 premiere lift in Adults 18-49 (+58%).

 

What you don't see is the actual number of the increase, or what the total was.  It's three day increase was 0.7.    If you notice, TBBT's three day increase was 1.7, almost as big as the total for Castle, 1.7 for TBBT to 1.9 for Castle.  So, three day totals aren't really meaningful (for one thing, they include those who don't watch the commercials (the "official ratings") only include those who watch the commercials, off of the DVR.  What they are good for is they allow the networks to put a positive spin on really crappy ratings.  

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I am curious, what is more important, eyeballs on the screen or demographics?  22.5 million eyeballs watching live + days after, 8 years in on this series impresses me.

Or am I missing something?

 

 

Edited by vonmar
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The three day increases for TBBT, from DVR viewing were an increase of 1.7 demo points, from 4.7 to 6.4(36%).   While there was an increase of 4.29 million viewers, from 18.20 million to 22.49 million (24%).  We don't normally get the three day lifts, but CBS had one of the biggest three day lifts and so they were bragging.  Something I don't normally look at here, the 25-54 demo went from 6.5 to 8.6, an increase of 2.1(32%)

 

 

Thank you, Tensor.  For all of the angst, this show seems to be beginning season 9 with a solid audience.  The economist just produced an interesting chart about TBBT and NCIS.  I'll put the link here, and hope it doesn't break a rule.  Delete me if that's the case.   http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2015/09/television?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/NCISVSGOT

 

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