TiVo's Top 'Less' List: C7 Would Add $88 Million Per Season

At a time when the major TV networks are hyping the shift to so-called “C7” ratings (live same day average commercial ratings, plus seven days of recorded playback) vs. Madison Avenue’s current standard C3 (three days of recorded playback), TiVo Research released an analysis this morning estimating that the major broadcast networks are losing as much as $88 million per first-run season for their top 10 shows alone.

The analysis, which is based on TiVo’s second-by-second program and commercial ratings estimates the shift to C7 from C3 would boost audience delivery by as much as 17%.

“In broadcast primetime, networks have the most to lose when utilizing the C3 ratings currency,” the TiVo study reports, noting that a show like ABC’s “Modern Family” is leaving about $10.9 million on the advertising revenue table by not charging for the difference between C3 and C7 ratings.

"Upfront commercial ratings based on second-by-second viewing data not measured by the ratings currency are the only way to capture user behavior in a DVR environment accurately, and therefore the only way to assess the potential value that could be unlocked by going deeper than the ratings currency," TiVo Chief Research Officer Jonathan Steuer touted in a statement, suggesting that TV networks could “gain back some of the advantage advertisers get from unmeasured viewership beyond the three-day window.”



Est. Ad Cost

C7 Contribution

Lost Ad Value

Big Bang Theory




Modern Family




Grey’s Anatomy








The Mentalist












American Idol




Person Of Interest




The Good Wife






Source: TiVo Research Inc. analysis of the lost ad dollar value from uncredited C7 ratings for a single first-run season of TiVo's "Top Ten Season Pass Programs" as of May 26, 2013. Estimated ad cost = SQAD data. 
2 comments about "TiVo's Top 'Less' List: C7 Would Add $88 Million Per Season".
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  1. Curtis Bahr from TBWA/Chiat/Day, April 21, 2014 at 5:01 p.m.

    It's interesting to see dollar amounts associated with these findings, but most networks are already aware of the incremental benefit of C7 over C3. When I was still with Nielsen (4~5 years ago), we would routinely quote the concept that 75% of viewing happened within 3 days, and close to 90% within 7 days. Networks and stations have always fought for C7, but advertisers and agencies are the limiting factor. Many ads are time sensitive, but for those that are, a viewer 7 days later isn't worth anything to the advertiser.

  2. Curtis Bahr from TBWA/Chiat/Day, April 21, 2014 at 5:02 p.m.

    "aren't time sensitive"

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