It’s Time to Stop Shifting the Discussion about Local Time Shifting

12-02-13

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Don Seaman, Manager, Marketing Communications, TVB

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In a piece that ran in The New York Times in early November, Bill Carter focused the Gray Lady’s intense media spotlight upon the convoluted time-shifting financial situation that’s plaguing the television networks, advertisers and programmers.

The article brought up a variety of very strong points about the shifting nature of the nation’s consumer TV consumption, mostly about those A18-49 viewers who watch a program later in the week —past the 3-day “sell-by” date of national C3

ratings. TV networks are looking to extend the 3-day window of C3 to 7 days, for a C7 rating.

Show such as “Scandal”, “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Blacklist” are all noted as being big beneficiaries of an additional four days of national viewing.

But here’s the thing: there’s even more to the story at the local level.

For example, in the San Francisco DMA, a show like Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow”, picks up 20% of its A18-49 audience between Day Four and Day Seven, after airing. CBS’s “Hostages”, another new show that has struggled nationally, adds 31% of its Live+7 rating during the same period in San Francisco. And NBC’s “Revolution” might be the king of all local market Live+7 successes – it showed double-digit increases in 23 of the 25 LPM-measured markets.

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s not just the new shows that are showing delayed success, or the serialized ones. In Boston, “The Mentalist” adds 40% to its audience. In Cleveland, “Hawaii Five-0” increases by 27%. “X-Factor” is up 30% in Seattle, “The Voice”, 25% in Dallas, and the list keeps going.

Local television broadcasters have been using Live Plus Same Day ratings as their “most representative” comparison to national C3 results. Fortunately, this is just a benchmarking exercise. When you look at the numbers, the more interesting discussion about time-shifted ratings is going on at the local level.

Maybe it’s time to begin shifting the discussion to include not only those four missing days of national viewing, but about those 25 markets that are missing from the national conversation.

 


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