CBS today announced that effective with the start of the 2014-2015 television season (Sept. 22), the Network will supplement its daily Nielsen preliminary fast affiliate ratings with Live + 7-Day rating projections, marking a further shift toward a metric that better reflects the total audience and monetization value of its programming.
“L7 and C7 are the metrics that more accurately account for how viewers watch our shows and how we get paid for our programming – both in advertising and content licensing,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “C7 deals were a significant part of our Upfront negotiations this year, and we are doing more and more C7 deals all of the time. As new technologies continue to improve audience measurement across all platforms, these more precise metrics are becoming the industry standard, benefitting advertisers and content providers alike.”
“To report audience results for programs the day after they air live is comparable to reporting the results of a baseball game after the fifth inning,” said David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation and President, CBS VISION. “The only way to accurately compare the audiences across all programs is to include more time-shifted viewing. In order to enable the timely analysis of each day’s television viewing, we will develop Live+ 7-Day projections for each of our programs based on the distinctive historical increases in viewers for each program. For new programs, these projections will initially be based on the time-shifting pattern of programs in the same genre until we have actual results for them over a seven-day time frame.”
CBS will release daily L7 projections in viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 that will include percentage increases over each program’s live plus same day averages. The L7 ratings will supplement each morning's release of the Network’s preliminary fast affiliate ratings along with individual program and nightly rating highlights.
Following is an example of CBS's new ratings reporting method, using the Network's Tuesday, May 6, 2014 broadcasts. It features both actual fast affiliate national ratings for the broadcasts as well as the more representative total Live +7 ratings as estimated by CBS Research.
EXAMPLE (Ratings for Tuesday, May 6, 2014)
Source: Nielsen NPM Live+SD and CBS Research Estimates Live+7
With time-shifted viewing expected to further increase this season, live plus same day ratings will continue to significantly undercount a program's overall viewership. Since official Nielsen L7 ratings are unavailable until three weeks after broadcast, projected L7 ratings will give an immediate and representative picture of a program's total audience and demographics.
Last season, two network programs had 7-day viewer lifts of more than four million (The Blacklist, The Big Bang Theory), 14 programs had lifts of more than three million viewers and 39 programs saw increases of more than two million viewers.