PICKING FAVORITES IN PRIMETIME
A new survey from STRATA reveals that audience sentiment does not always align with traditional viewership and ratings data. As networks face more competition from cable channels and non-traditional mediums such as Netflix and Hulu, the fight to retain and grow an increasingly fragmented audience is heating up. The survey also found that networks face brand awareness challenges.
Advertisers and agencies have long depended on ratings as a key measurement tool, guiding them on where to spend their ad dollars. The findings of the Fall TV Sentiment Survey, though, contrast ratings with viewership sentiment – measuring intensity, not just viewer numbers. For example, while 13.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the premiere of CBS’s new program The Millers, only 3% of survey respondents indicated that it was their favorite new show. NBC’s The Blacklist was most popular with survey respondents, with 15% saying it was their favorite although fewer viewers tuned in to watch its premiere (12.6 million) as compared to The Millers.
TV executives closely watched the September 29th premieres of the The Michael J. Fox Show on NBC and The Crazy Ones on CBS as they battled for primetime viewers. That evening The Crazy Ones (15.6 million viewers) overshadowed The Michael J. Fox Show (7.5 million viewers), but 11% of survey respondents favored The Michael J. Fox Show over the 4% who chose The Crazy Ones as their favorite new show. When asked to pick their overall favorite show, which included new and already established shows, not a single person polled said The Crazy Ones was their favorite show so far this season. That spot belongs to another CBS show, The Big Bang Theory, which received 13% of the vote.
STRATA’s Fall TV Sentiment Survey also found that some networks are facing brand awareness challenges. Only 76% of NCIS fans, 73% of Big Bang fans, and 63% of How I Met Your Mother fans were able to properly identify these as CBS shows. Only 56% of Modern Family fans properly identified it as ABC, whereas 89% of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans accurately chose ABC. FX led the group with viewer recognition as 94% of Sons of Anarchy fans identified it as an FX show.
CBS and NBC were tied as the networks with the best new programming; ABC came in third, FOX fourth and AMC fifth.