The DVR Skew: A Look at the Delayed Viewing Gains So Far for the Spring and Summer Shows

By | July 28, 2016

preacher-amc-cancelledBelow is a summary of the delayed viewing gains for the Spring and Summer shows thus far through the season and it gives us pretty much the same story we have been seeing all along with these numbers. The rich continue to get richer and the poor don’t see much in the way of audience improvement. It’s no surprise that Game of Thrones and Fear the Walking Dead top the list because those are two of the most watched shows currently on television (note that these numbers do not include digital viewing which I believe would boost GoT even more with the launch of HBO Now this year). But the shows that are lower on the list are not improving their status much when delayed viewing is factored in. Even shows like Orphan Black and Penny Dreadful that see notable percentage gains are still not improving their overall audience that much (and not surprisingly, the latter show ended with its third season and the former will end with its fifth). For cable shows, gains like these might help interest international partners who are looking to market the shows globally, but that could vary widely on a case by case basis. Delayed viewing is almost never a hidden goldmine of viewers that significantly build on the overnight ratings. Two shows on the list below are seeing decent gains are AMC’s Preacher and TNT’s The Last Ship. Both of those shows have had to deal with heavy competition and or scheduling issues on Sunday nights this Summer and they are making up for some of that with the delayed viewing. Their Live+7 averages have them at or above a 1.0 rating which is decent for a cable show these days.  Wayward Pines is also seeing decent delayed viewing gains for a Summer show, but those are much less important to the broadcast networks (just ask Limitless fans about that).

Note that with the cable shows, the data availability is very spotty especially for those barely registering in the overnight ratings. For some of those shows I have only one or two data points for Live+7 numbers which is not a very good sample.

Following are the delayed viewing results for the broadcast network and cable sci fi / fantasy shows (through the week of July 4th) ranked by Live+7 average rating (metric definitions below):

Rank Live+7 Series Network Avg Over-night Rtg Live+7 Days Tracked Live+7 Tracked Avg Rating Avg Live+7 Rtg Live+7 % Gain Cancellation Alert
1 Game of Thrones HBO 3.9 9 3.9 5.3 37.6% Renewed
2 Fear the Walking Dead Free 2.2 6 2.3 3.7 62.0% Renewed
3 Person of Interest CBS 1.0 7 0.9 1.4 53.0% Cancelled
4 Wayward Pines FOX 0.7 6 0.8 1.4 86.7% Moderate
5 Preacher AMC 0.6 5 0.7 1.4 109.1% Renewed
6 Zoo CBS 0.8 1 0.8 1.2 50.0% Moderate
7 Braindead CBS 0.5 2 0.6 1.0 66.7% Elevated
8 The Last Ship TNT 0.5 3 0.5 1.0 83.5% Low
9 Containment CW 0.4 5 0.3 0.5 58.8% Cancelled
10 Scream MTV 0.2 1 0.2 0.5 127.3% Low
12 Outlander Starz 0.2 8 0.2 0.5 146.6% Renewed
11 Penny Dreadful Show 0.2 7 0.2 0.5 155.8% Ended
13 Dark Matter MTV 0.2 1 0.2 0.4 150.0% Moderate
13 Killjoys Syfy 0.2 1 0.2 0.4 90.5% Moderate
15 Orphan Black BBCA 0.1 9 0.1 0.3 204.3% Final Season
16 Beauty and the Beast CW 0.2 5 0.2 0.3 50.0% Final Season
16 Wynonna Earp Syfy 0.1 1 0.1 0.3 130.8% Renewed
18 12 Monkeys Syfy 0.1 1 0.1 0.2 69.9% Renewed

Metric Definitions:

Avg Overnight Rtg: The season to date average rating based on the final overnights for live broadcast.

Live+7 Days Tracked: The days that the Live+7 data was available for a show in the Live+7 Top 25 charts published by TV by The Numbers.

Live+SD Avg Rtg Tracked for Live+7: This is the average Live+SD rating for the Live+7 Days Tracked above.  This will vary from the Avg Overnight Rtg because of the two week delay on Live+7 data.

Avg Live+7 Rtg: The season to date average rating based on the Live+7 numbers for the Live+7 Days Tracked (see metric above).

Live+7 % Gain: The average Live+7 rating percent gain from the average overnight rating based on the Live+7 Days Tracked (see metric above).  The more datapoints available in the Live+7 Days Tracked, the more accurate this will be and the closer the math will work.  Shows with fewer datapoints will have larger discrepancies.

Cancellation Alert: My estimation on a show’s chances of being cancelled.  The five levels from least to most likely to be cancelled are Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, and High.

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