Thursday, September 27, 2007

Re-runs equal ratings?

It used to be that in order to win the ratings war, you needed to consider your lead-in, audience demographics, scheduling, programming competition, Q factors, etc. Heck, some showrunners even go so far as to kill off characters to goose their numbers. Now, thanks to a change in how Nielsen calculates viewership, network execs have another tool at hand: the well-timed repeat.

Repeat shows usually get LESS ratings than a new episode, but now if a show is aired twice within a calendar week (that's Monday through Sunday in Nielsen-land), Nielsen will count the viewership of BOTH airings. Washington Post television reporter Lisa de Moraes explains the new ratings calculation in detail in her article Network Ratings May be Higher Than They Appear.

Check it out.

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