Fox Drops Live+Same Day Nielsen Ratings

During our ratings reports, we often mention the different kinds of ratings; there's overall viewers, key demographics (which can be broken into 18-49 or 18-35, depending who you're asking), and of course there are things like Live+Same Day, Live+3, and Live+7. The last two take things like DVR and on-demand viewing much more into account than the former, allowing for modern viewership who no longer make "appointment viewing" and instead watch shows primarily on their own time.

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(Photo: FOX)

Fox sent out an internal memo today, Deadline reports, announcing that the company will no longer be looking at Live+Same Day numbers when making decisions about their programming line-up.

"There will no longer be THAT email in your inbox every morning at 8AM, because THAT email is no longer relevant," the email from joint chairmen/CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman read. "This has to stop. It’s time for us to “walk the walk” and change the conversation. The Live + Same Day rating does not reflect the way people are watching our series. It leaves out the vast majority of fans who choose to watch on DVRs, and virtually ignores those who stream our shows or watch on demand."

This makes Fox the first network to not just directly acknowledge the DVR/On-Demand/Streaming audience in such a direct way, it's the first network to actively do something about it. For Fox, they investigated a thirty day period, in which "seven of our FOX series either double or more than double their same-day audience across platforms." They also acknowledged that most of their monetization is no longer being done by selling ads just through same-day numbers.

"Looking ahead, we’re going to stop circulating the Nielsen Live + Same Day ratings, both internally and to press. We will not acknowledge them for any programming other than live events," the email concluded. "Let's move the ratings conversation into the future."

For our part, we'll continue to report those numbers, as they're still held relevant by other networks, but will also give an increased focus on the delayed viewing.