Time-Shifted Ratings Pay Off More For TV Nets Than Advertisers

TV networks may be pushing for advertisers to pay for more days of TV programming/commercial viewing -- up to seven days -- but one media agency says there are uneven results when looking at specific programs.
There are plenty of positives for the TV networks. Over the last five years, time-shifted ratings between live program plus three days of time-shifted viewing (L3) and live plus seven days (L7) have doubled, according to Havas Media.

Looking at one specific target -- women 25-54 for the 14 week period Sept. 23, 2013 through Dec. 29, 2013 on five broadcast networks -- analysis shows program viewing gained 56.2% after seven days of viewing versus its live-only airing, with commercial viewing climbing 31.9%.

Similar results exist in other metrics: After three days (L3, live viewing plus three days of time-shifting), average program viewing climbed 48.7% versus live only, while commercial viewing gained 28%.

Looking at a five-year stretch -- comparing L3 versus live-only -- program ratings gained 96% on average, and commercial ratings were up 152%.

Much the same results are revealed between L3 and L7: Program ratings grew an additional 15.4%, with commercial ratings adding on 13.8%. Over five years, program ratings grew 73%, while commercial ratings were 95% higher.

Havas Media says many shows have high engagement programming with gains of 20% more commercial ratings in comparing three days to seven days, including CBS’ “Persons of Interest,” Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” and ABC’s “Modern Family” standout.

On the flip side, Havas says plenty of programs are not so well-viewed after three days, including ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” (a 9% gain); NBC’s “Shark Tank” (9%); CBS’ “Undercover Boss” (8%); and NBC’s “The Voice”(8%).

Good news for broadcast networks overall when it comes to program time-shifted viewing. Joe Abruzzo, executive vp and director of research for Havas Media, writes: “In both cases, the 3- to-7-day rating increments are greater than the typical cable network rating.”

But he also says: “The hard truth is that while the high quality of many programs is intersecting with the needs of viewers, in many cases it’s not intersecting with the needs of advertisers.”

He add: “For advertisers, like retail, an inability to time message delivery results in messages delivered -- probably in the right place but potentially at the wrong time. The same is true for every other advertiser trying to deliver their message within a tight time-frame.”

This is not to say there isn’t value “The true advantage, however, goes to the advertiser investing to grow brand equity. In those cases, time-shifted viewing is a strong indicator of viewer engagement and the programs described above offer above average value.”

"Watching TV" photo from Shutterstock.



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