NBC Dumps Traditional Neilson Ratings - It Doesn't Accurately Reflect Performance

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NBC has decided to ditch the Neilson Live and Same Day TV Ratings stating that "they don't accurately reflect how the television business is changing and, specifically, how these early ratings numbers are no longer representative of the performance of a particular show or series". This is huge news for wrestling fans as they cling to these Neilson numbers every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday as a direct reflection of how their favorite wrestling show or promotion is doing. It's been stated by many in the industry that the traditional snapshot ratings is an outdated model that simply doesn't reflect the nuanced way viewers consume media. 

Fox also announced back in November of 2015 that it will no longer issue live + same day ratings, with the exception of live events, the first broadcast network to do so. The network will instead focus on Live 3, Live 7 and multiplatform data. The industry has been changing for a decade and the traditional way of measuring viewership success has changed as well. 

This is leading Neilson to substantially change their ratings model in the Fall of 2022 to more of an all inclusive way of tracking success. You can see the letter that NBC sent to TV reporters below. 

Dear TV Writers:
We wanted to alert you that this week will mark the end of the fast affiliate ratings email you receive in the morning.

We didn’t come to this decision lightly, but believe it’s important to accurately reflect how the television business is changing and, specifically, how these early ratings numbers are no longer representative of the performance of a particular show or series. Long gone are the days when a vast majority of viewers watched their favorite shows in the exact timeslot in which they were scheduled. And as a business, we are much more focused on how audiences are watching our shows rather than when audiences are watching our shows, which could be different depending on the genre and demographics of any given series.

Although we won’t be sending these morning ratings going forward, it doesn’t mean we won’t be sharing with you important ratings information on all our shows. To that point, we’ll be reaching out with facts and figures that we believe are more accurate indicators of how our shows are performing. So please be on the lookout for those emails.

And, an important note, we’re always here to answer any of your ratings questions and inquiries for any story you may be working on, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thanks much for your understanding and please let us know if you have any questions.

Best,
Stuart Levine
VP, Editorial and Media Relations
Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming


Credit to thewrap which you can read their entire article here. 

This certainly makes sense as to why WWE continue to receive such large deals for their content and television rights despite declining traditional ratings. With this announced we must all take a look at how we frame ratings and viewership when we report them every week and it's something I'll be taking a look at myself. 

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