Originally Posted by Supper's Ready
I wonder how much this is changing with the wide availability of DVRs now? I generally don't know what nights or times the shows that I typically watch air, because I watch them whenever I find the time rather than being beholden to a particular schedule.
Originally Posted by Hugin
I mean, I kind of "know" that, say, Game of Thrones aired on Sunday nights because it was up on my TiVo early in the week, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what time it came on. I was once a TiVo early-adopter, but am I still atypical? Don't most Americans have a DVR come standard with their cable account nowadays? Or am I pulling a Romney here? "I love DVRs, my wife has two of them!"
That's not how ratings work. A lot of regular shows are on hiatus right now so that they can finish their runs without any repeats in May, which is a sweeps month. It's also worth noting that the only television show that you can really kill by jacking around with the schedule (within reason, of course) is a serial, which is yet another reason why broadcast stations hate serials.
Originally Posted by Ginger Yellow
Not at all. TV shows measure their viewership in the millions, and that vast, unwashed mass of humanity that fills out those numbers are generally assumed not to have a DVR, and, furthermore, not to actually watch the commercials when they use it.
Originally Posted by Tin Wisdom
It's worth remembering that television's primary purpose for everywhere that isn't a premium subscription channel (i.e. just don't bother with ratings for HBO shows, because it's not what drives them) is to deliver advertising. Methods of viewing that prevent the product from actually delivering its payload shouldn't be counted in the numbers. If everybody watches Firefly and nobody watches any of the commercials, so far as the people who are actually buying the show are concerned, nobody is watching it.
Nielsen is broken for a lot of reasons (specifically, there's probably way too much differentiation in the population to make the tiny, tiny number of people with boxes a representative sample anymore), but failure to assign credit to DVR numbers is not necessarily one of them when you consider who the actual audience for those numbers happens to be.
True to a point. I find it hard to recommend Deadwood to people, for example, because it had no ending. A particularly galling example because they were clearly leading up to an apocalyptic ending, but as the show stands it just stops without any real sense of closure. It's unsatisfying enough that I feel people should be warned before they go in.
Originally Posted by Supper's Ready
And there are some shows I really, really wish I had stopped watching. If somebody had told me to stop watching Battlestar Galactica when the characters hear a Hendrix song, I could have saved many hours of my life.
Sure, I understand all that. And I understand that they have the "plus-seven" numbers to try and take DVR-viewers into account (at least partially). I'd enjoy a discussion on how TV can still get advertiser revenue in the new, digital, world; and I'd further enjoy hearing the thoughts from industry insiders on why Neilson is still around at all given the much better data they could buy from Cable companies or TiVo
Originally Posted by Brian Seiler
However -- I guess my point/question was that with the advent of DVRs and dual-tuners and whatnot, I would expect moving a show from one time-slot to another to make significantly less difference than it would have even five years ago. I don't think that many people are missing out on the chance of seeing, say, The Voice because it's opposite House, so moving it to Friday to compete with Kitchen Nightmares wouldn't do them too much good.
Nope. The tremendous body of television viewers are still people who flip it on and go directly to what they're watching. The specific point is, you, and I, and anybody else with a DVR are not normal, at least as far as the numbers are able to tell, and probably in general.