CBS Moves to Spur Change in Ratings Standard

Sep 17, 2014  •  Post A Comment

CBS would like the TV business to get on with transitioning to a new standard ratings metric, and Variety reports that the network announced today what it plans to do about it.

“The Eye said Wednesday it will add projected Live Plus 7 numbers to its daily overnight ratings reports as of next week, which marks the official start of the 2014-15 season and the rollout of the bulk of CBS’ fall slate,” the story reports. “The move is meant to be a statement to the TV biz and to advertisers that L7 ratings (and their C7 commercial ratings counterpart) should be seen as the new normal, given the vast growth of time-shifted viewing.”

Live Plus 7 takes into account DVR and VOD views within seven days of a program’s premiere on the linear channel. “For a host of complicated reasons, L7 numbers do not include most streaming activity other than live streaming of network programming done on a smartphone or tablet within the confines of the viewer’s home,” the report notes.

Fox has also moved in the same direction, and has been providing Live Plus 3 and Live Plus 7 projections for much of its programming for the past year.

Said CBS head man Leslie Moonves: “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. 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, benefiting advertisers and content providers alike.”

Variety adds: “David Poltrack, CBS Corp.’s chief research officer, compared evaluating a show’s performance on overnight numbers to ‘reporting the results of a baseball game after the fifth inning.’”


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