The CW Network's live plus same day ratings are down
significantly this season in just about all demos, on par with many cable
networks and even lower in some instances. But there's a major, positive-spin
reason: CW viewers are younger and tend to have different viewing patterns than
older TV watchers. That's one reason why The CW was the first broadcast network
to both put all of its primetime shows online two years ago and sell commercial
time in those online streamed episodes.
In the two years since it launched its "convergence
strategy," the network says it has seen a double-digit increase in the number
of show episodes streamed by viewers per week, and that 93% of viewers who
watch CW shows online are watching those shows for the first time. And, in a
plus for advertisers: viewers cannot fast-forward through the commercials.
When it comes to live television viewing, however, The CW is
fighting an uphill battle. Between 29% and 40% of each show's audience watches
it over a seven-day period. No other network has every show on its schedule
fall within percentages that high.
Commercial rates on television are based on C3 ratings-live
plus three day viewing-and viewership beyond C3 can be considered value added. That's
a tale worth touting to advertisers by the CW, though it is not so easy to
Based on live plus seven day viewing measured by Nielsen,
The CW's Nikita adds another 29%, or
492,000 additional viewers to its live plus same day audience. Vampire Diaries also adds another 29% to
its audience (865,000 viewers), Heart of
Dixie adds 32% more viewers (558,000), 90210
adds 32% more (469,000) and America's
Next Top Model adds 32% more, or 587,000 viewers, as does Gossip Girl (33% more or 429,000
And the percentages grow. Secret Circle adds 36%, or 756,000 more viewers, Ringer adds 38% (679,000 more viewers)
while Supernatural adds almost 40% to
its audience, or 712,000 more viewers.
While actual number of viewers watching broadcast shows on
the other networks over a seven-day period may be more in total number, because
the other networks draw larger audiences overall, the percentages of the other
networks' total audience watched via seven-day DVR viewing are less than for
ABC's Modern Family,
for example, has 4.7 million more viewers who watch the show over seven days-the
most additional number of added viewers for any network-and that's 35% of their
audience. But CBS' Two and a Half Men
has 3.2 million more viewers watching over seven days, and that's only 19% of
its audience. CBS' NCIS has 3.1
million more viewers watching it via DVR over a week, but that's only 16% of
On a percentage basis, Fox's Fringe has the highest percentage of its audience watching via DVR
over seven days-just under 53% of the Fringe
audience, or 1.6 million more viewers, watch the show in that pattern.
The new shows with the most viewers added over seven days
are Fox's New Girl with 2.8 million
more, followed by CBS' Person of Interest
(2.75 million more); ABC's Once Upon a
Time (2.57 million more); CBS' Unforgettable
(2.55 million); ABC's Revenge (2.53
million); Fox's Terra Nova (2.4
million); NBC's Grimm and CBS' Two Broke Girls (2 million more each);
ABC's Pan Am (1.86 million) and NBC's
Prime Suspect (1.85 million).
By networks, based on total viewers, CBS has six shows among
the Top 10 with most audience added on a live plus seven day basis, ABC has
three and Fox has one. Among the Top 25, it's CBS with 11, ABC with six, Fox
with five and NBC with three.