NBC Wants Media To Focus On Delayed, Digital Viewing Of TV Shows

Beverly Hills, California — Broadcast TV's network leader NBC wants business writers and critics to focus more on overall viewing — not just live program viewing measures.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting, Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, explained that looking at business holistically, it is doing very well.

“Delayed viewing and digital are not only keeping things afloat, they are getting stronger,” Greenblatt says. “The revenue we get from all the delayed viewing is significant. .. We are following the money.”

Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, adds: “Our shows are more profitable. We are figuring out a way to monetize these shows.”

As other TV networks have shown, Greenblatt says, many TV shows’ delayed viewing through 35 days and beyond is yielding big results.

For example, the premiere episode this past season of “This is Us” — one of NBC’s big hits — started with a 2.8 live program-plus-same day Nielsen 18-49 ratings. But adding in all the delayed viewing through 35 days boosted that rating number to 13.



“The Good Place” started with a 2.3 for its season premiere episode and rose to a 6.1 for live program, 18-49 ratings through 35 days. “Saturday Night Live” started with a 2.3, rising to a 5.3.

The Voice” with its season premiere episode had 3.3 live program-plus-same day ratings, rising to a 5.5 rating through 35 days.

“This is how the audience for TV watches,” says Greenblatt. “I could use your help getting the word out.”

NBC's shows can be seen on 14 different digital platforms. When it comes to mobile and tablets, consumers have downloaded the NBC app 35 million times, he notes.

Greenblatt says the hope is that younger digital viewers will move back to watching NBC on new live, linear digital TV services, such as Sling TV.

NBCUniversal said that in this past upfront, for the coming 2017-2018 TV season, all its TV networks and digital platforms pulled in $6.5 billion — up 8% from a year ago.

NBC was No. 1 among all broadcast networks in the 18-49 demo for the fifth year in a row. Greenblatt says the network did all this without a Super Bowl or Olympics programming.

12 comments about "NBC Wants Media To Focus On Delayed, Digital Viewing Of TV Shows".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 4, 2017 at 11:57 a.m.

    The TV networks are perfectly correct in asking advertisers and the media industry in general to give them credit for any viewing that takes place for their shows, regardless of platform--especially when commercials that were presented in the "linear TV" exposure situations also appeared in the digitally seen episodes. However, to speed the process, the networks should consider funding some objective research--- focused on program and ad content recall, for example-----that compares the typical in-home "live" viewing's impact upon the audience with that attained on other platforms---especially mobile, where viewer attentiveness is certainly suspect. Given that the findings show comparability, why not count all of the audience? If certain digital platforms perform at a somewhat lower level than "live", in-home, that, too should be established and the findings factored in.

  2. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, August 4, 2017 at 12:11 p.m.

    This is simple stuff, or it should be. It's been a relatively long time since the words "I missed that episode" were replaced with "I haven't watched it yet."  

  3. John Grono from GAP Research replied, August 4, 2017 at 7:52 p.m.

    Ed I agree - as long as the ad content is also shown.

  4. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, August 5, 2017 at 12:09 p.m.

    Ed Papazian, Thank you very much.

    Once again, we should be grateful to Ed Papazian for his measured agreement with NBC and his unqualified call for research quality in measuring the impact of different of viewing situations.  Networks are happy to be "precise" in declaring select demographic victories, but want "sympathy" when it comes to understanding how advertising works in different modes.

    John, Please note that Ed calls for attention to ad content.

    Chuck, Please note that oversimplification will do no one any good ...
    neither in research execution nor interpretation.

    Best Wishes All!

    Nicholas P. Schiavone 

  5. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, August 5, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.

    Dear MediaPost,

    May I urge greater concordance and nuance 
    between a story's headline and content in matters like this one.

    Thank you very much.

    Your engaged reader,
    Nicholas P. Schiavone 

  6. John Grono from GAP Research replied, August 5, 2017 at 8:26 p.m.

    Nick, I agree that Ed is talking about attention to ad content.   It is the big missing part of the puzzle.   I'd be over the moon if we had some normative data.

    The point I was trying to make about broadcasters aggregating all their audiences - live, as live, 35-day catch up, cable, OTT, online, streamed etc. - is that there is an inherent assumption in media buyint that the 'published rating' is the maximum Opportunity-to-See of the programme.   That is, it is the number that is plugged into the media pland and buy and used to calcualte reach and frequency.

    But if the client's ad only airs on some of those channels and devices then the "headline figure" is virtually impossible to achieve.

    I'm all for the "headline figure" - but let's also provide that underlying data as to its components.

    We can then overlay Ed's programme and ad recall results and get a 'attentive audience' figure.

  7. Joshua Chasin from VideoAmp, August 15, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

    What the situation of delayed viewing really calls for is a segmenttion of measurement into a content ratings offering, and an ad ratings offering. Asking if the recall of an ad viewed say 28 days out on Hulu matches the recall of an impression viewed live, overlooks the fact that almost certainly the ad in question is different. In fact, it underscores the point that increasingly, TV inventory is bifurcating into two buckets-- "spots" and "impressions." A "spot" is inserted into a program and is viewed by many people at once, presumably at the time the show is aired. Impressions are served digitally one-at-a-time, with decisioning increasingly being made in real time. Incresasingly, the delayed viewing channels will be inserting impressions, not spots. The program audience and the campaign audience, then, are not at all the same thing. So while a given program may keep adding viewing 35 days out or more, the spot originally run in that program is not accumulating that same audience.

    THis is not a bad thing, by the way. it enables broadcasters to maximize the value of their audiences by selling different impressions to different advertisers for the same program at different times-- bringing new value to both buyers and sellers.

  8. Joshua Chasin from VideoAmp replied, August 15, 2017 at 10:17 a.m.

    Minor edit.

    "In fact, it underscores the point that..."

    Should be, 

    "In fact, what's going on is that..."

  9. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, August 15, 2017 at 10:37 a.m.

    True, Josh, however the advertiser should not be charged for any delayed viewing, no matter what platform is involved that did not actually display the advertiser's commercial as featurerd in the original "live' airing. So the network's point is really geared to getting credit for all of the audience it "delivered" to each ad message linked to each national exposure of every episode whose ad time was sold. Aside from this, I continue to have issues with the relative value---in terms of actual ad "viewing" when displayed via different platforms----mobile being my main reservation.

  10. Joshua Chasin from VideoAmp replied, August 15, 2017 at 10:58 a.m.

    Absolutely Ed. That's why the campaign needs to be measured separately-- because now we cannot asume ad is subset of program wherever program goes, so we need to track the ad-- where it does end up manifest, as well as here it does not-- separately from the program.

    As for whether a mobile view is as valuable as a linear big screen TV view-- there are different schools of thought on that. You don't walk out of the room during a mobile ad-- I mean, maybe you do, but the screen comes with you. And you don't change the channel, because that's not how mobile works. And while the screen is tiny, it's also 6 inches from your nose. Some argue that a mobile commercial view is more impactful, in terms of one impression and one pair of eyeballs.

    But there's plenty of research done, anf more to come, on the relative impact of a piece of creative seen on a phone versus in the living room. In no way does this need to be a mystery.

  11. John Grono from GAP Research, August 15, 2017 at 6:04 p.m.

    G'day Josh and Ed.

    Ed, that is what I meant by "as long as the ad content is shown".

    It is fine for a broadcaster or content creator to aggregate all of its audiences (linear TV, time-shifted TV, streamed,  and on any device) as long as it is used only as a 'gross aggregated audience' for the purpose of PR, sales decks at TV markets such as MIPCOM etc.

    In no way could such data be used as post-analysis for campaign performance.

    Here in Australia we have and AdEx system from which we get verification or channel/date/time that an ad ran (by key number) which we then meld with the minute-by-minute audience data to perform post-analysis.

    That is, if the ad ran in the linear programme at (say) 20:17 on a cable channel, and then again at 22:17 on a cable "+2" time-shifted channel then you COULD add both audiences for the purpose of GRPs (but not reach).

    In the case of somebody recording the programme and watching it (say) 4 days later but they skipped through the ad break we would NOT add in the audience for what was the original 20:17 ad as it was not seen.   Typically this knocks out up to 90% of that original audience.

    In the case of the broadcaster making the programme available online via a catch-up service, if they don't carry the broadcast ads then we add nothing to the campaign.   Further, the broadcaster may have different breaks in the online catch up, so if a 30-minute programme on broadcast (using round numbers here) was only 24 minutes on catch-up we'd and a person watched the entire catch up, they'd only count as 0.8 of a person due to the shorter duration.

    Once we've sorted all that out we can then debate the 'value' of each of the exposures.   For example it is possible to say the DVR catch-up is ony 90% of the 'value' of a linear ad so only credit 90% of its audience number, and streamed on a mobile is only worth 50% then those adjustments can be made as well.

    I stress that all this is done at the gross exposure level (GRP) and doesn't flow through to reach - which I think is the more important metric overall  Well it doesn't yet, but we're working on it.

    Oh then I suppose we should add in a 'creative' factor to weight the likelihood that someone exposed to the ad pays attention and gets message takeout.

    Pretty simple really.   NOT!

    The latter is really just 'theory' at the moment, and there are very few media agencies that have the time and resource to perform such post-analysis on campaigns.   And I suspect that there are even fewer advertiser who would be prepared to pay for it.


  12. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 15, 2017 at 6:56 p.m.

    John, it looks as if we agree----again. A question. You mention what I take to be a DVR delayed ad zapping rate of 90% in Australia. Is that the current average for all dayparts and channel types---broadcast and cable? If so, I'm a bit surprised as the corresponding figures for the U.S. are considerably lower ---like 55-75% depending on definitions for primetime with broadcast TV on the higher side.

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