As fans rally in an attempt to save their soaps, one thing that comes up time and again are questions regarding ratings. In an attempt to answer questions regarding how audience size is measured and what is -- and, perhaps more importantly, isn't -- counted when it comes to figuring out how many eyeballs a show is attracting, we went straight to the source. Here, Scott Brown, Senior Vice President of Strategies and Digital Platforms for the Nielsen company answers your most pressing questions!
While the entire conversation can be read below, two pieces of information -- answering topics most often asked of us about ratings -- are worth commenting on. The good news: According to Brown, shows viewed via TiVo or DVR within three days of their original broadcast are included in the overall Nielsen numbers. (It should be noted that as with all Nielsen information, this only applies to shows that are DVR'd or TiVo'd by those in the Nielsen pool, as detailed below.) The bad news: When it comes to shows viewed on-line -- whether via Hulu or a specific network's site -- only count if the on-line version contains the exact same commercials as the network broadcast. Why is this bad news? Because anyone who has ever watched their favorite show via an on-line site knows that in general, there are far fewer ads featured during on-line airings. Currently, none of the soaps which can be viewed on-line feature the same ads as the network broadcast, meaning that those viewing their shows in non-traditional formats are not being counted in the all-important Nielsen ratings.
For the full details on our chat with the folks at Nielsen, read more after the jump!