Earlier this week the broadcast networks released numbers showing the huge uptick in viewing when DVR playback numbers are added in. Nielsen released the real numbers that count Tuesday, the C3 ratings, which record viewing of commercials in between the programming.
Nielsen data for premiere week alone has three NFL games at the top of the C3 ratings list for the 18-49 year old demographic group. As expected with live sports none of them got much of a lift from the live number and the C3 number which measures the average rating of commercials in a given show with three days of playback added in.
The top show, Fox’s NFL Sunday Single was up two tenths of a rating point to 6.8. CBS NFL National scored the same, while NBC’s Sunday Night Football was up just a tenth of a point at 6.4.
When it comes to top entertainment programming Fox’s House rose more than a full rating point up to 6.3 from 5.2. ABC’s Grey’s the fifth biggest show on the C3 list for premiere week rose from a 5.1 live rating to a 6.1 rating on C3.
According to a separate analysis performed for B&C by Los Angeles media agency RPA, two NBC shows The Office and Community received the biggest additional viewership of all shows on C3 over a three week period in September. The C3 index which looks at three day playback of commercial viewing and compares it to live viewing has The Office indexing a 1.23. (Anything higher than a one shows that commercial pods actually gained viewers rather than lost them as is typically in live viewing.) The comedy series' live audience was an average of 6.3 million while the C3 data boosts that to 7.8 million. Community’s index was a 1.22; and its C3 audience was 7.9 million viewers up from its live number, 6.5 million.
Perhaps more interesting is that Fox show, So You Think You Can Dance, a show that would naturally attract a live audience also made the top 10 list. The Wednesday show rose from 5.3 million viewers to 5.9 million viewers. The figures cover September 9 through September 27 and demonstrate the extent to which viewers are choosing to delay viewing and underline that DVR penetration is still growing.
“The numbers at first pass seem to be bearing out that returning shows tend to be recorded so people could watch premieres of new shows,” said David Scardino, entertainment specialist at RPA. “My guess is that sampling may have been wider than usual because of increasingly use of the DVR.”