For CBS, It May Be Time To Move Beyond Even 25-54 -- To The Total Picture


CBS says its profitable Friday show "Blue Bloods" has sold advertising deals based not only on 25-54 demographics but, in some cases, on total viewers.

Total viewers? I guess that's why they still call it broadcasting -- the ability to reach the most people.

To be sure, "Blue Bloods" might not have marketers of the next "Twilight"-like film or video games like "Call of Duty" knocking on its door. But this is something of a shift.

As broadcast viewership continues to slip, one media buying executive told TV Watch: "I don't know, maybe we all need to look at total viewers a bit more."  It turns out that is what some marketers are doing.

This is not to say demographics are a goner. Decades of TV buying and planning has been based around these viewer groups. Much of that will continue. But perhaps all those digital TV sites -- as well as anything Canoe Ventures can dream up -- will finally achieve the ultimate goal of getting to the right consumers at the right time. The goal has always been to place media dollars on TV platforms to more specifically target more of the exact consumers marketers want to reach.



Many network shows have now slipped under 10 million total viewers. Overall, CBS leads -- as it did a year ago -- with 10.8 million viewers after five weeks of Nielsen’s C3 ratings (commercial ratings plus three days of DVR playback). Fox is at 8.49 million; ABC, 8.46 million; NBC, 6.84 million; and CW, 1.6 million.

For years, CBS has complained that advertisers -- and the TV business press -- have spent too much time on the all-popular 18-49 and should consider others like 25-54 which the network does well in.

The real answer isn't about an "older" network versus a "younger" network. Perhaps as a transitional effort, some marketers will look to a broader metric -- while they also find the right tools for getting to micro-targets.

Blogging about one story focusing on total viewers vs. demographics, one buyer notes that, more than ever, "You need to look at the whole picture."

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