Thursday, June 21, 2007

Calling Nina Tassler

In her statement announcing the return of Jericho to the CBS lineup Nina Tassler added the condition that Jericho fans had to get more viewers to watch " live."
Today, perhaps, is a good day for Ms. Tassler to read some media reports.

In May, Nielsen Media Research announced that Jericho ranked 3% higher in viewing of commercials when people watched it via DVR. Nielsen calls this the Average Commercial Minute Ratings. It seems that people who taped Jericho watched more commercials as opposed to fast-forwarding through them. Advertisers and networks are now in agreement to count viewers who watch a taped show within 72 hours of its' first airing. Yahoo News reported today that this "live-plus-three" will be involved in many ad buys this year.

According to yesterday's NY Times, the deals being made this week in what is called the upfront market include advertising on network Web sites where fans of programs like “Jericho” can watch episodes they missed on TV. Now, before you get too excited, remember you still count only if you're a Nielsen family. Just because you DVR the show or watch it online doesn't mean a thing.

In years past upfront agreements were based on live viewership of shows. These new changes include the shift to commercial ratings from program ratings, which advertisers wanted and measuring of viewership based on “live plus three” — counting live viewership along with three days’ worth of playback of recorded programs which the networks wanted.

While I find this news encouraging I am still concerned about the fact that all viewers aren't counted. There are still so many of us who aren't Nielsen families. Now if the new Hey Nielsen allows us all to let the networks know we're here and if the networks will use that information I'll be happier. In the meantime, Ms. Tassler, could you tell us, again, why we should be watching "live" when you don't plan to count us?


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