February 22, 2024


Arts Eternal

Nielsen, networks clash on stats showing fewer viewers

NEW YORK – Persons have been stuck at residence for a year owing to COVID-19 limits, with film theaters shut, concert venues shut, restaurants closed, sporting activities attendance limited — however television viewing is down?

That can make no sense to networks and cable and satellite suppliers, who are complaining that the Nielsen enterprise is inaccurately counting how a lot of folks are essentially viewing.

Nielsen’s reply, in a nutshell: the reality hurts.

It can be an argument with monetary implications, due to the fact networks later on this spring start promoting advertising and marketing for the future yr. Less viewers equivalent less ad pounds.

Via the trade group Video clip Marketing Bureau, the networks are perplexed by Nielsen statistics that show the percentage of Us residents who viewed their televisions at minimum some time throughout the week declined from 92% in 2019 to 87% so much this calendar year.

Besides remaining counter-intuitive in the pandemic period, the VAB claims that acquiring operates counter to other proof, including viewing measurements from established-top rated cable containers, the increased amount of streaming alternatives that have become available and a soar in gross sales for television sets.


“We feel the market warrants a great deal additional clarity,” reported Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the VAB, on Tuesday.

The range of families, particularly massive families, taking part in Nielsen measurements has dropped about the previous calendar year in percentages very similar to the lower in viewership, Cunningham stated. Nielsen acknowledges that its sample size is lesser — the company is not sending staff into properties for the reason that of COVID-19 — but mentioned stats are staying weighted to account for the alter.

Very last week, for illustration, normal prime-time viewership on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox was down 16% from the similar week in 2020. The lower would have been steeper if not for the NCAA men’s basketball championship match, which wasn’t held past 12 months.

Immediately after an first spike in viewership when lockdowns took result very last spring, extensive-phrase developments having people today away from their sets reasserted by themselves, Nielsen stated.


A lot more individuals are shelling out time on tablets and smartphones, which are not calculated by Nielsen. The podcast market is soaring. Athletics on tv was interrupted. Because of to manufacturing shutdowns, tv networks had been airing significantly far more reruns, Nielsen stated.

“The media marketplace, just like all some others, was not organized for the grand shift in each day everyday living that the pandemic pressured, seemingly overnight,” Nielsen said in a analysis paper responding to the VAB’s criticisms.

CBS was the most common network previous week, averaging 5.9 million viewers in prime time. NBC experienced 3.46 million, ABC experienced 3.45 million, Fox had 1.8 million, Univision experienced 1.3 million, Telemundo experienced 1.1 million, Ion Tv had 1 million and the CW experienced 720,000.

Fox Information Channel led the cable networks, averaging 2.12 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.59 million, HGTV experienced 1.21 million, CNN experienced 1 million and TBS had 993,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” gained the night news ratings race, averaging 8.2 million viewers very last 7 days. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 6.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” experienced 4.9 million.


For the week of April 5-11, the 20 most-viewed programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Baylor vs. Gonzaga, CBS, 16.92 million.

2. “NCIS,” CBS, 10.26 million.

3. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.74 million.

4. “FBI,” CBS, 8.07 million.

5. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 6.95 million.

6. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.88 million.

7. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 6.65 million.

8. “FBI: Most Needed,” CBS, 6.44 million.

9. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 6.35 million.

10. “NCAA Basketball Pregame Demonstrate,” CBS, 6.21 million.

11. “American Idol,” ABC, 6.09 million.

12. “The Voice,” NBC, 6.02 million.

13. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 5.8 million.

14. “Magnum, P.I.,” CBS, 5.61 million.

15. “United States of Al,” CBS, 5.38 million.

16. “Mom,” CBS, 4.93 million.

17. “America’s Funniest Home Films,” ABC, 4.92 million.

18. “Law & Get: SVU,” NBC, 4.9 million.

19. “Station 19,” ABC, 4.87 million.

20. “Law & Buy: Organized Crime,” NBC, 4.84 million.

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