Monday, May 19, 2008

Nielsen ratings, time shifted viewing and Friday night

Aside from Moonlight (I make time to see it live.... and then over & over again), we watch our television shows at our convenience. Either recording them for later viewing or watching them online. That is another reason why I feel that the Nielsen rating system is out of date. Lots of you have joined the ratings project by sending postcards to CBS letting them know we never miss an episode of Moonlight, but are not counted by Nielsen.

TV Guide's Matt Roush touches on this issue, as well as Friday night ratings in general. I could not agree more with this part ~ "I think CBS made a short-sighted error by scrapping Moonlight, undervaluing the buzz potential for the show and especially its star."

YES.... the Moonlight DVD set will be a huge seller! I'm already on the waiting list to get mine.

Roush on Moonlight

Question :
Along with millions of others, I'm a big fan of Moonlight. Although its ratings were not great, it usually won its timeslot on Friday night. I also realize Friday is not a big viewership night, but I think a lot more people were watching Moonlight than the Nielsen ratings indicate. From what I can tell, since it's on Friday night when many people are out on the town, it seems that many viewers DVR it and watch it the next day. Then there are the viewers who download full episodes, not to mention all the YouTube videos that fans make. I'm also willing to bet that when the DVD for Moonlight comes out, it will be a big seller. Are networks taking this non-traditional viewing into considersation when making renewal decisions? It seems the wave of the future. — Lisa W.

Matt Roush :
All of these off-network factors are coming into sharper focus as the networks make tough decisions on what to renew or not renew, but still for now, the bottom line is all about how the show is performing in a specific time period, and CBS has opted to go a different direction on Friday next season with the romantic-comedy The Ex List. I've gone on record that I think CBS made a short-sighted error by scrapping Moonlight, undervaluing the buzz potential for the show and especially its star. But I'm with you when it comes to Friday-night TV. Much as I had come to enjoy Moonlight and as addicted as I am to Battlestar Galactica, I never ever watch them live. Like countless others, I am never home on Friday nights, and as long as the networks continue to program original fare on Fridays — let's hope it doesn't become another Saturday anytime soon — they'll have to take time-shifting and other new ways of watching the show into account.

askmatt@tvguide.com

1 comment:

Lyn said...

Check out the postings in response to this article. Although Matt talks about several other finales, ALL the posts are about Moonlight and CBS' boneheaded move in cancelling it.