TiVo tracks networks’ promo prowess

NBC's 'The Event,' 'Chase' among most-viewed spots

Promos for NBC’s “The Event” reached a larger audience than any other new network series this fall, according to TiVo’s audience research data.

The company, which regularly measures the viewing habits of 35,000 subscribers (all of whom have opted into a special panel), continues to keep tabs on network blurbs across the TV landscape. According to its info, the Peacock had promised to spend more this year on marketing, and it did: “The Event” promos reached 86% of the TiVo sample. Those viewers saw spots for “The Event” an average of nearly 13 times.

NBC also held the second and third most-seen promos: “Chase,” which reached 83% of users; and “Undercovers,” which reached around 81% of viewers.

NBC was helped by its stable of entertainment cable nets, like USA and Bravo, which helped the network’s overall promo tally in addition to the Peacock’s primetime.

That strong push didn’t necessarily translate to more viewers, however, as none of those shows have turned into a hit.

Ditto ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7,” which has now received more promo time than any other new Alphabet show (perhaps assisted by spots on sister ESPN). “Detroit 1-8-7” promos have been seen by 73% of the TiVo sample.

CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” received the most Eye promos, reaching 72% of the TiVo sample. Fox’s “Lone Star” was tops for that network, with promos hitting 69% of viewers.

TiVo also measured viewers on how many promos led to actual viewership, with CBS’ “Bleep My Dad Says” spots leading the way. More than 25% of the TiVo sample tuned into “Bleep” after seeing at least three promos for the show.

Rivals noted, however, that CBS had a deal with TiVo in which a “thumbs up” appeared during its spots — allowing users an easy way to record the show and bolstering the spot’s effectiveness. Fox had a similar pact in place, while ABC and NBC did not.

A network exec also said the info, while interesting, is still limited by the fact that it’s a sample of atypical viewers — TiVo users.

But TiVo audience research and measurement veep and g.m. Todd Juenger said the data may still be valuable to at least get an anecdotal idea of how promo viewing might translate to actual tune-in.

“You’ve never been able to say, someone saw a promo for a show eight times, and then tuned in,” he said. “But it’s complicated to figure out exactly what makes a promo or paid advertisement work well. Some of it might be you had a crummy show or a concept that didn’t appeal. In that case, you could run the world’s coolest, most exciting promo… but if people aren’t much into the concept, it won’t matter.”

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