Magna Global Charts P3 Vs. C3 Ratings Battle

After a month of the new season, commercial retention is still a problem for many TV viewers--even for those who don't own a DVR.

A recent analysis by Magna Global USA looks at all commercial avoidances--whether through channel-switching or fast-forwarding. Magna examined program ratings after three days to commercial ratings plus three days of DVR playback (P3 to C3) among 18-49 viewers for Sept. 24 to October 28.

Magna found that an average of five networks lost 13% of their viewers going from prime-time programs to commercials. ABC came out on top, only losing 12%; Fox had a 13% drop; CBS lost 14%; NBC sank 15%; and CW, 17%.

These numbers are almost double the rate when compared to observing just live-to-live data--live program to live commercial. That erosion comes in at 6%. These findings suggest that with the increased use of DVRs, 18-49 viewers tend to skip commercials.

The company's research echoes other findings, which suggest that young viewers are less inclined to stick around for commercials than older viewers. The five-network average among 18-34 viewers after three days revealed a 15% drop; for those viewers 50 plus, it's only 9%.



In regard to the new TV currency changes that were made this year, TV advertisers also compare last season's live program ratings to this year's C3 data--all to judge their media performances.

To that end, some early results revealed that a number of shows scored well: NBC's "The Office" grew 9% compared to its live program of a year ago; Fox's "Prison Break" was 5% improved; and NBC's "Friday Night Lights" showed a gain of 2%.

But when comparing their respective P3 to C3 numbers, those shows' retention levels aren't that great: "The Office" was down 19%; "Prison Break" dropped 17%; and "Lights" sank 23%.

The worst network show in retaining viewers into commercials is NBC's "Heroes," which dropped 25%. The best was Fox's "King of the Hill," at 1%. Also doing well was ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos," NBC's "Football Night in America," and CW's "Aliens in America," which each lost just 2%.

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