Nielsen Releases Live-Plus-Seven Ratings; NBC Claims Victory

Nielsen Media Research has released its first live-plus-seven program ratings--but it may not offer any insight for media analysts other than providing the highest number possible for a particular program, says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director of Horizon Media. Adgate said one thing was certain--"every other metric will be lower. Apart from that, it doesn't say much."

Live program ratings are higher than virtually all commercial ratings. Throw in the fact that this includes seven days of DVR playback, and you have perhaps the highest measurement for a TV show. On Tuesday, the more important live commercial ratings plus three days of DVR playback will be released--a currency that advertisers linked to deals in last June's upfront advertising market.

Still, some networks are claiming an early-week victory.

NBC says it won the week outright among 18-49 viewers with a 4.2/11, up 2% versus a year ago. It notes that other network averages were down or flat: ABC, 4.1/11 (9%); CBS, 3.7/11 (7%); Fox, 3.0/8 (6%); CW, 1.2/3 (flat).



Previously released Nielsen weekly ratings, which were based on live-plus-same-day data, had NBC and ABC tied for the lead among 18-49 viewers in the first week.

For the first week of the new season, the winners in grabbing some of the highest DVR playback numbers so far--in terms of seven days of program playback--are: "Heroes," followed by "Grey's Anatomy," then "House," "CSI" and The Office." Those shows rose in 18-49 viewers by 27.3%, 20.7%, 19.8%, 18.8% and 26.7%, respectively, in terms of total DVR playback after seven days.

This gave "Heroes" an 8.44 rating; "Grey's" a 9.88 rating, "House" a 8.73, "CSI" a 9.22, and "The Office" a 5.84.

The lower a program's same-day ratings, the lower the tendency for viewers to record and play back programs later in the week. Some of the lower recorded and played-back shows include "K-Ville," which only added 4.5%; CW's "Girlfriends" at 1.5%; and "King of the Hill" at 1.0%.

Shows on the CW, which scored some of the lowest initial same-day ratings, had some of the highest DVR record and playback numbers, in terms of percentage. "Gossip Girls" added 18.1% after seven days of playback to give it a 1.27 rating. "Reaper" improved 20.7% to a 1.74 rating. "Beauty and The Geek" climbed 20.2% to a 1.63 rating. "Smallville" grew 21.8% to a 2.16 rating.

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