At the time, Fox executives made the point that the network gets paid from C3 or C7 ratings (the average commercial ratings plus three or seven days of time-shifting). But when has Fox, or any other network, released those C3 numbers regularly?
The answer: hardly ever. Now, to be fair, some of this has to do with the release of that data, an odd timing of every two weeks or so from Nielsen.
Since Fox made it a point of bringing up that it gets paid on these ratings -- actually singling out C7 in particular -- should you expect to see this data as well? Don’t hold your breath.
Why not? We are not sure. Perhaps it is too close to business affairs. But C3 (primarily) and C7 (a growing metric) are virtually the only media point measures for TV advertisers when it comes to prime-time, non-sports, non-news programming.
This C3 data -- as flawed as it might be for many -- is the “currency” for how and where national TV advertisers will spend their media dollars. (TV sports and news get bought by advertisers with little time-shifting data, since viewership is virtually all live).
TV executives complain live program data doesn’t amount to anything. But media agencies -- in lieu of daily commercial ratings releases -- use live program plus same day ratings as a predictor of what a specific episode of a TV shows will do under C3 data.
And for others -- TV producers and executives -- live program data still offer some insights, knowing how many people watched a linear airing of a TV show as soon as it was available.
Everyone talks about big data. There is so much of it, and business executives can slice and dice for their needs. But maybe not everyone thinks that way.