As same-night viewing numbers for entertainment series continue to dwindle, more and more networks have switched to reporting only ratings that include three days’ worth of DVR playback. And on Thursday, NBCUniversal and its numerous cable networks joined the party.
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment announced that, effective immediately, its cable networks, including Bravo Media, E! Entertainment, Esquire Network, Oxygen Media, Sprout, Syfy and USA Network, would report only “Live +3” data for most of their programming. The channels will distribute “Live + Same-Day” viewership data only for live sports/entertainment, specials and event programming.
This large group of networks joins FX, which last year became the first network to move away from “same-day” ratings and use “live +3” as a starting point for disseminating numbers to the press. Premium cablers HBO and Showtime have also adopted this stance.
The broadcast networks regularly report ratings for their primetime programs on a next-day basis, but Fox started releasing “Live +3” and “Live + 7” projections along with these a couple of years ago. ABC, CBS and NBC followed last year.
“Increasingly, Live+3 metrics are a more accurate reflection of the performance, appeal and reach of our networks’ original programs,” said Liz Mahaffey, exec VP, brand strategy, for NBCU Cable Entertainment. “Considering ever-growing use of DVR, VOD, digital and other nonlinear viewing options, L+SD is merely a chapter in a much larger and more diverse ratings story.”
NBCU Cable Entertainment gave some examples of 3-day “lifts” for some of its networks’ programs, including USA’s “Graceland” (+83%, pictured); Bravo’s “Top Chef” (+81%); Syfy’s “Dominion” (+80%); USA’s “Royal Pains” (+77%) and “Suits” (+70%); Syfy’s “Defiance” (+70%); Esquire Network’s “Friday Night Tykes” (+65%); E!’s “The Soup” (+65%) and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” (+51%); and Bravo’s recently launched “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” (+50%).