I caught this blog posted below. Sad! I worked on a number of syndicated programs that used this cheating technique to keep the ratings high. It only makes sense.
This is one reason why folks aren’t interested in television anymore. Instead of making better programming, they’ll just cheat ratings to make it seem like they are making better shows. Eventually like it did with much of syndicated talk, this will implode as you simply will not have enough people in the first place watching, even after you inflate the numbers. Once again money trumps integrity or anything else for that mater. Like newspapers, syndicators are more interested in advertising and do what they can with the ‘filler’ to keep the advertising coming. Even if it means unrealistic ratings. Most all daytime shows use a trick of offering their shows twice a day. And they are allowed to count both ratings as one to represent how many folks watch ‘the’ show. In other words they need double showings to make up for lackluster single airing ratings. But like our government the TV rating system is so dysfunctional as to be Simpson like in terms of ridiculous. Actually, come to think of it, the Simpson’s have joked about it quite well over the years.
Posted October 4th, 2007 by Shari Anne Brill
Effective with the start of the 2007-08 broadcast TV season, Nielsen introduced a disturbing new calculation technique. Effective immediately, if a network rebroadcasts a given program during a single telecast week and the show contains identical national commercial and program content, it can choose to report a single rating that includes both the original airing and any other incremental unduplicated viewing from the rebroadcast. Only one rating will be produced and credited to the original date and time. No separate audience information will be reported for the secondary telecast.
As you may know, the season opener of “Heroes” contained a single advertiser, Nissan. You guessed it. NBC decided to invoke this option for the Sept. 24 premiere, which was rebroadcast this Saturday, Sept. 29, with Nissan’s ads running intact.
In other words, there are currently no national preliminary numbers for last Monday’s telecast, on the Sept. 24 prime overnight. You won’t see any numbers for “Heroes” on the Saturday night ratings file either.
The Monday Prime overnights for Sept. 24 will be re-released on Tuesday, Oct. 2. At that time, the reprocessed rating for “Heroes” will be reported, which will also include the un-duplicated audience from the second (Saturday) telecast. Interestingly, viewership for the Saturday night re-telecast will never be reported, period. The un-duplicated audience will always exist as part of the Monday number. While this practice has been done for years in syndication, keep in mind that these programs clear across multiple time periods — and network TV programming gets evaluated very differently.
That’s right, kids. We will never know how “Heroes” actually performed in its initial telecast, nor will we be able to relate the “Heroes” performance versus its time period competition. Season to date rankers for Heroes will be artificially inflated because it will include the combined Saturday audience, not to mention the impact to c3 ratings.
It looks as if I will have to start making up overnight numbers every week, because Nielsen has decided to make the wishes of one client take precedence over the needs of the many.
Needless to say I have already voiced my displeasure with Nielsen — and I can’t imagine that ABC and CBS, who also launched their new season lineup on 9/24 along with Fox and CW, would find this acceptable.