The compromised C3 metric and the slower-burning fuse of C7 have done next to nothing to offset the ravages of commercial avoidance, offering about as much protection from ratings erosion as an umbrella provides in the shadow of an earthbound boulder.
NBC’s singing competition is down significantly from its last two finales, while CBS’s NCIS also scores its lowest-rated season ender.
NBC’s first-year comedy I Feel Bad finished its season on an even keel Thursday — which is to say it didn’t draw much of an audience. The first of two episodes drew a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.5 million viewers, improving a little bit on the show’s last episode (0.4 and 1.86 million on Dec. 13). It was I Feel Bad‘s most-watched episode since its time-period premiere in early October.
The flight of younger viewers from traditional TV has sent currency ratings for the first full month of the 2018-19 broadcast season into a tailspin, as primetime demo deliveries among the Big Four networks were down nearly a quarter compared to October 2016. According to Nielsen C3 data, broadcasters last month averaged 7.98 million adults 18-49 in primetime, which marked a 22% decline versus the 10.2 million members of the dollar demo who tuned in two years ago.
Commercial minute ratings fell in July led by a double-digit decline on cable, which had its worst month since May 2017, according to an analysis of Nielsen data by Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research. In prime time C3 ratings among 18 to 49 year olds, a key metric for buying and selling ads, was down 12% from a year ago.
Two big NFL playoff games helped broadcasters earn a slight gain in primetime viewership for January — increasing a rare occurrence. Broadcast was up 1% in primetime 18-49 viewership in January to 8 million total 18-49 viewers in the Nielsen C3 metric, according to MoffettNathanson Research analysis of Nielsen data. C3 is the average minute commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing.
Cable TV networks continue to see steeper overall viewership declines — particularly with younger TV viewers. In the second quarter, MoffettNathanson Research says there was a 9.1% decline in total day 18-49 viewers in Nielsen C3 ratings — the average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing — for cable networks.
Key TV viewership losses accelerated in the second quarter, with double-digit percentage declines for both broadcast and cable networks. MoffettNathanson Research says Nielsen C3 viewership among 18-49 viewers in the second quarter of 2017 in primetime sank 12% for broadcast and cable networks — following an 8% decline in the first quarter. Broadcast networks fared worse than cable in the second three months of this year.
U.S. national TV in January witnessed a sharp decline in total day commercial ratings points — but rose slightly in primetime. Pivotal Research Group says total national C3 commercial impressions — average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing — fell 5.8% last month among adult 18-49 viewers, but climbed 1.7% in primetime.
Even with the airing of the Rio Olympics, commercial TV ratings — still the dominant TV currency for marketers — declined 3% in the third quarter. NBC — which aired the Olympics — was up 65% in C3 ratings (the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing) among 18-49 viewers, according to Bernstein Research. ABC, was down 2%; CBS, off 11%, and Fox, losing 22%.
Total commercial TV impressions among 18-49 viewers continue to climb as a result of still-rising commercial advertising loads for most TV networks. C3 impressions (the average commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing) among 18-49 viewers grew 3.2% in the third quarter of this year over the same period a year ago, according to analysis from Pivotal Research Group.
Any hint of recovery for TV’s national C3 ratings were dashed in February — with double-digit percentage declines in broadcast TV and mid- single digit drops in cable TV. Broadcast networks sank a big 15% in February among total day 18-49 viewers to 4.44 million Nielsen C3 ratings — the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time shifting, according to MoffettNathanson Research in analyzing Nielsen data.
Commercial TV ratings, mostly from sports programming, help keep results for broadcast networks flat in November, with cable networks witnessing mid-single digit percentage declines. Nielsen’s live average commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing showed no change in primetime broadcast networks for November versus the same period a year ago — 10.35 million average C3 viewership for 18-to-49-year-olds, according to MoffettNathanson Research. Total day 18-49 results for broadcast dipped 1% to 6 million.
First-quarter 2015 TV commercial ratings continue to sink this season. First-quarter 18-49 primetime audiences sank 12% among the top four broadcast networks and were down 10% among top non-kids cable networks, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s analysis of Nielsen TV C3 research — commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing data.
In 2013, viewers changed the way they watched television. In 2014, buyers and researchers will catch up, changing the currency for buys and adding online ratings.
Taking sports out the picture, C3 numbers are down 3.5% to a four-network total of 10.2 million 18-49 viewers. Analysts say scripted programming as a whole is suffering.
National TV networks commercial ratings (C3) are slightly higher this season in October versus a year ago, thanks to sports programming on the broadcast networks. But one troubling issue remains with returning scripted TV shows on broadcast networks.
After celebrating its big program ratings win in the last several months over longtime market leader NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America now touts another honor — one more important to national TV advertisers. GMA has won its first win in commercial ratings (C3) for the 2012-13 broadcast season (Sept. 24, 2012, to Sept. 22, 2013) — the viewership measure that virtually all national TV advertisers use to ink their media deals.
Meredith Corp.’s syndicated daily lifestyle program, The Better Show, is now fully C3 measured by Nielsen. “We were very encouraged after seeing Nielsen benchmark data last fall,” said Brendan Kelly, managing director of advertising sales and sponsorships for The Better Show. “It’s a great opportunity to create a larger presence for The Better Show in […]
Looking at all Nielsen C3 TV viewers in the first half of the TV season through Jan. 13 — all broadcast and ad-supported cable networks gained over Nielsen program live-only data. C3 ratings among 18-49 viewers were at 33.1 million versus 31.5 million when looking at Nielsen program live-only data. On an index basis, that places C3 five index points higher that live program-only.
Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger says changing from the C3 to C7 ratings metric would just change the proportion of sales that go to broadcast vs cable, meaning it “would be largely a wash” for Big Media companies that have broadcast and cable networks. The exception is CBS, which collects relatively little from cable ads.
Signs are trickling out that network executives will press advertisers to accept a new currency that covers more time-shifted viewing. The market now trades on ratings that take into account three days of commercial viewing (C3). Networks want to extend it to seven (C7). Very logical from a sellers’ perspective as DVR-enabled viewing escalates. But how do they get to yes? What can they offer buyers in exchange for accepting the C7 switch?
During their respective earning calls In the space of a week, both Walt Disney Co. president-CEO Bob Iger and CBS Corp. president/CEO Les Moonves talked about looking for ways to get paid for all TV network viewing through metrics that would measure more time-shifted viewing, which could increase measures of program viewership by 30% to 40% during a week.
Both the C3 and live program ratings for the first week of the season were down on average 17% versus the year before. NBC and CBS had better live-plus-same-day ratings than C3, but Fox and ABC witnessed a different story.
Thanks largely to NBC’s Ted Harbert, networks may push for a currency change bringing more rating points for them to sell in a DVR-expanding landscape. In media-buying argot, he wants to go from C3 as the principal negotiating metric to C7. Yet, if the switch were to happen tomorrow, how much more money would NBC and its brethren collect? Maybe less than expected.
Are commercial-specific TV ratings the way to go in the future? Not according to Group M global CEO Irwin Gotlieb, who used part of his time on stage at the Advertising Research Foundation’s measurement conference Tuesday to dismiss the idea as impractical. He called it a step that could potentially undermine the national TV ratings system.
Five weeks into the TV season, Fox has made the biggest gains as well as leading all broadcast networks among key viewing metrics that advertisers value most: the Nielsen C3 rating among 18-49 viewers.
Network executives have been slow to embrace the TV Everywhere movement, largely because they want — this is a shocker! — as much money as they can grab from cable and satellite operators in rights fees. But, they are also wary of losing ad dollars, suggesting the lack of an adequate cross-platform measurement system will cost them. They may be right, but misinformed, too.
Three years after the national TV advertising marketplace shifted to C3 ratings — live average commercial minute ratings plus three days playback viewing — the system was finally accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC). A year after that, the rest of the world found out. The lag time between the accreditation and its full disclosure raises many questions about transparency in the current ratings system, the role of the MRC and why Nielsen itself was so lackadaisical in confirming the news, earlier this year.
While average commercial minute ratings are seen by most advertisers as a significant improvement over program ratings, many marketers are still pushing for a system that measures the audiences for specific spots. They may want to push harder for that advancement, given a provocative new analysis of the so-called C3 ratings system by P.J. Leary, the North American CEO of media audit firm Ebiquity.
TV marketers could be seeing digital video viewership numbers in C3 ratings — the metrics that national TV buyers use for their media buys — in about a year, projects one senior media-buying executive. Maybe even by next upfront.
Turner Broadcasting’s cable TV networks are reaping tens of thousands of incremental viewers in their Nielsen ratings that are being ignored by the rest of the TV industry, a top research executive revealed Monday during a panel discussion at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement Conference in New York.