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Steve Sternberg

Member since September 2009Contact Steve

Steve Sternberg currently works as a freelance media consultant. He has more then 30 years of television and video analysis experience, having held top research posts at Bozell, TN Media, Magna Global, and ION Media Networks. He also authors The Sternberg Report (

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • Does Viewer Intensity Matter? in TV Everywhere on 01/18/2017

    Since the advent of DVRs, there has been virtually no research (made public) on the "value" of original scripted series versus off-network repeats. This is not surprising ,since the broadcast networks don't want to highlight the key weakness of their higher-rated series (less live viewing, greater commercial avoidance), while many cable networks that air both, don't want to play one against the other.

  • Measuring The Global Village Was Once Easy -- But No Longer  in TV Everywhere on 01/12/2017

    In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan dubbed the new electronic media world of television a "global village." For the first time, people at opposite ends of the country were able to simultaneously see and hear live events as they were happening. Fifty years later, people can still get the same information at the same time, but they no longer have to access it at the same time, on the same platform, or even on the same device. Over the past five decades, television has undergone several fundamental changes, affecting not only what is available to view, but also when, where, and how it can be viewed. But most of the changes that make measuring audiences more complex happened during the last 10 years or so. Until the early 2000s, the pace of change was relatively slow, enabling cumbersome media measurement conglomerates to trudge along with serviceable audience measurement.

  • It's Your Media Generation That Defines You  in TV Everywhere on 01/04/2017

    Generations are ordinarily thought of in 18-year increments. Baby Boomers, for example, were born between 1946 and 1964, and generally have similar media habits. Most people in previous generations had similar access to the same distribution system, channels, programs, and devices. However, we are now living in a media world where everyone doesn't get everything anymore. The home VCR was the fastest-growing electronic device since the advent of television. Not so the DVR. Age groups are no longer as cohesive as they once were based on where, when, or how they can watch video content. As more change occurs, the number of years making up each subsequent media generation has decreased. Here is how I would break out the Media Generations:

  • 10 Shows You Should Check Out  in TV Everywhere on 12/21/2016

    The best TV show lists will invariably include one or two of the O.J. Simpson-based series, the excellent "This is Us," and critical favorites that hardly anyone watches, such as "The Americans" and "Transparent." I've decided to focus instead on TV series that may not be on most lists, but I think people should check out (and not just new series). Previous episodes should all be available to stream.

  • Pre-Season Buzz Everywhere -- Still With Little Impact On New Series Success in TV Everywhere on 12/14/2016

    For several years now, I've been issuing in-depth reports on the impact of pre-season buzz in determining new series success - or rather, the lack of impact. Over the past 15 years, the success rate of new prime-time series that received the most buzz leading up to their debuts was roughly 30% - virtually identical to the success rate for all prime-time series.

  • People Watch More TV Than Ever -- But Is It All Reported? in TV Everywhere on 12/07/2016

    I conducted a survey of my Facebook friends (a surprisingly diverse group), just as a fun exercise. I asked four simple questions about their DVR, on-demand, and OTT usage. Twenty-five percent of respondents did not have a DVR (the national average is about 50%). Here are the results.

  • How Accurate Are Those Ratings? It's Easy to Find Out  in TV Everywhere on 11/30/2016

    I was one of the founding members of The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), a group of 40 top industry researchers from major Nielsen clients. As part of its Media Consumption and Engagement Committee, I helped spearhead the landmark "Video Consumer Mapping Study," which still stands as the best original research into consumer media habits that I've ever seen.

  • Can Nielsen Really Measure My 17-Year-Old's Media Experiences? in TV Everywhere on 11/22/2016

    Watching my son's interaction with both media devices and content makes me wonder more and more whether a company like Nielsen (or any single entity) can fully measure his media exposure, engagement, and advertising awareness. Heck, I'm not even sure they can accurately measure my media experiences.

  • New Series Report Cards in TV Everywhere on 11/16/2016

    The prime-time TV season has been underway long enough to give us a good handle on how each new show is performing. The following series receive a grade of B or higher. The dramas have one thing in common: There is nothing else like them on television.

  • It's Time To Scrap C3 And Bring Back Program Ratings in TV Everywhere on 11/09/2016

    C3 ratings for most network and prime-time programs are higher than their live program ratings. Let's think about that for a second. Half the country doesn't even have a DVR, yet Nielsen reports that more people watch just the commercial minutes (over three days) of a typical series, than watch the actual program at the time it is broadcast. This is so ridiculous on its face that the industry should stand up as one and scream WTF!

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