In the New York Times yesterday Bill Carter looked at the DVR numbers from this past season. He focused on Smash, a show whose 18-49 rating jumped significantly when you consider the “live+7” numbers, which take into account the viewers who watch a show on DVR at some point in the week that follows the broadcast. This spike was responsible for Smash getting picked up for a second season. Carter wrote:
“The example of Smash mainly proves that initial ratings are not a particularly valid currency, though they still are the ones most widely reported and discussed in the industry.”
The problem is though DVR numbers might “give programmers a better sense of how ardently a show is being followed,” they don’t, ” make more money for the networks.” Advertisers still base everything on the “commercial+3” rating, which is, “how many viewers watched the commercials within three days of a show’s first broadcast.”
Not to mention, the overall impression doesn’t change too much. If you look at the numbers below, you can see that the most popular shows tend to get the biggest DVR bump. Sure, the NBC comedies get a larger percentage increase than most other shows, but the difference is fairly insignificant. (An interesting stat, however, is that with +7, Up All Night is the second most watched NBC sitcom.) Still, one thing is abundantly clear: Modern Family is REALLY popular. More people watch Modern Family on DVR than watch Community at any point. Hopefully, Community’s DVR numbers will jump significantly when they move to Friday or else it’s going to be #ThreeAndAHalfSeasonsAndProbablyNotAMovie.
L+SD = Live+ Same Day
L+7= Live+7 Days