Inside Move: NBC awareness less than golden

Promo cuts partly to blame

Despite its less than gold medal performance in the ratings games this month, NBC execs still expect a marketing boost from the Summer Olympics. But the Peacock hasn’t yet seen an overall increase in awareness levels for its new fall lineup, according to the most recent network awareness tracking study from Lieberman Research Worldwide.

Adults 18 to 49 were familiar with NBC’s new series about 23% of the time — down from 24% the week before and 26% during the same week in 1999.

Awareness levels at ABC and CBS have also dropped week-to-week, but that’s less surprising than NBC’s decline, given the network’s current Olympics-fueled ratings dominance. On the flip side, Fox, which hasn’t had much of a ratings base this summer to promote its new series crop, leads the network pack, with 26% of young adults aware of the net’s new series, up from 14% last year.

NBC execs blame their awareness figures on the late premiere dates for shows such as “Cursed” and “DAG,” which aren’t even being promoted at the moment because of their respective late-October and mid-November bows. Network insiders also believe that viewers might have confused the new Oliver Platt drama “Deadline” with the Stone Phillips newsmag “Dateline.”

Also not helping: The net’s decision to cut back promo time by as much as 2-1/2 minutes per night during the Olympics to clear space for advertiser make-goods (Daily Variety, Sept. 27).

Still, NBC has seen a healthy bump in awareness for the shows it has promoted the most: “Ed,” which has jumped from 33% to 37%, and “Titans,” which is up from 39% to 43%.

Also, the network has seen a big increase in “intent to view” numbers, which gauge the likelihood of attracting those eyeballs to the small screen. That percentage has jumped from 33% to 40% among young adults aware of NBC’s new series.

NBC’s awareness levels are expected to increase with next week’s report, as viewers have time to digest the network’s Olympics promo machine.

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