As TV Execs Start Using DVR Numbers, Ratings Get Even More Confusing

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As if Nielsen ratings weren’t already a foggy and unreliable mess, the New York Times reports on how executives are relying on DVR numbers to justify keeping some shows on the air. But not all shows! And advertisers still don’t care about these “plus seven” numbers, which measure a full week of viewership rather than the traditional overnights and plus threes. Really, it all comes down to this kicker, from an unnamed exec: “They will read the numbers and then they will secretly try to find the justification to renew the shows they love and cancel the ones they don’t.” It’s sort of comforting in a way, no? A system which appears to have no rhyme or reason has no rhyme or reason.