A new report by TheWrap.com reveals what it calls “TV Sweeps’ Dirty Little Secret,” which is that television’s sweeps periods “aren’t nearly as important as they used to be.”
The report makes the point that a combination of factors including technology and year-round programming has reduced the stakes in what was, until recently, a high priority from both a programming and an advertising standpoint.
The report quotes Darcy Bowe, vice president and media director for Starcom MediaVest Group, saying of the sweeps: “In a world of always-on and on-demand content and viewers watching here, there and everywhere, from a national perspective it’s just not as important of a phenomenon as it once was.”
The publication talked to a number of experts, with all of them echoing the sentiment that the TV sweeps, traditionally conducted by Nielsen in November, February, May and July, are no longer a big deal.
“Another factor in the erosion of sweeps periods’ relevance: The networks’ move toward year-round programming,” TheWrap reports. “Where networks used to emphasize original programming during sweeps periods and fill in the gaps around them with repeats, these days the networks are airing original content throughout the year, softening the sweeps’ impact.”
Said Tim Hill, senior VP and group partner at Universal McCann: “[The networks] don’t have the same luxury of scheduling repeats because there’s so much competition in the marketplace that if they take too many weeks off with repeats, they’re just going to get crushed. You’re rotating in original programming at all times during the year, not just holding your original episodes for only sweeps periods.”
We urge you to click on the link in the first paragraph, above, to read the full report from TheWrap.