The CW once again leads in primetime gains for all DVR playbacks for the week ending October 18, 2009.
The CW has once again led all networks in primetime gains for all DVR playbacks for the week ending October 18, 2009. These figures come from the Nielsen Live+& day ratings versus Live-Only viewing. Overall, the CW’s biggest increase came in its target demographic of women ages 18-34 (60%, 2.16rtg v. 1.35rtg), followed by adults 18-34 (57%, 1.57rtg v. 1.00rtg) and women 18-49 (54%, 1.76rtg v. 1.14rtg). Now, 90210 has seen its ratings double again once DVR ratings have been factored in. 90210‘s ratings improved 99% in women 18-34 (3.01rtg v. 1.51rtg), 100% in women 18-49 (2.20rtg v. 1.10 rtg) and also posted big gains in the adult demos, including 87% in adults 18-34 (2.02rtg v. 1.08rtg) and 83% in adults 18-49 (1.48rtg v. 0.81rtg).
The struggling Melrose Place saw an improvement of 63% in women 18-34 (1.81rtg v. 1.11rtg), 59% in adults 18-34 (1.32rtg v. 0.83rtg) and 63% in women 18-49 (1.30rtg v. 0.80rtg). The Vampire Diaries, which has become the sole breakaway freshman hit for the CW saw gains of 70% in women 18-34 (3.29rtg v. 1.93rtg), 60% in adults 18-34 (2.42rtg v. 1.51rtg) and 59% in women 18-49 (2.96rtg v. 1.86rtg). Lead-in by the ratings phenom The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural gained 39% in adults 18-34 (1.53rtg v. 1.10rtg), 39% in adults 18-49 (1.45rtg v. 1.04rtg) and 30% in women 18-34 (1.64rtg v. 1.26rtg).
The Monday 1-2 punch of veteran dramas One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl also continues to see ratings boosts with DVR usage. Gossip Girl is up 65% in women 18-34 (3.53rtg v. 2.14rtg), 61% in adults 18-34 (2.29rtg v. 1.42rtg) and 62% in women 18-49 (2.38rtg v. 1.47rtg); while One Tree Hill grew 49% in women 18-34 (2.65rtg v. 1.78rtg), 43% in adults 18-34 (1.82rtg v. 1.27rtg) and 49% in women 18-49 (1.95rtg v. 1.31rtg).
Reality hit franchise America’s Next Top Model‘s ratings improved across the board by 72% in women 18-34 (3.10rtg v. 1.80rtg), 72% in adults 18-34 (1.87rtg v. 1.09rtg) and 61% in women 18-49 (2.80rtg v. 1.74rtg). On Friday nights, Smallville remains in DVR demand, as its Live+7 ratings skyrocketed above its live-only viewing by 77% in adults 18-34 (1.45rtg v. 0.82rtg) and 70% in adults 18-49 (1.43rtg v. 0.84rtg).
When all is said and done, four of The CW’s shows added more than a million viewers with the inclusion of DVR viewership, with The Vampire Diaries leading the pack gaining nearly 1.5 million viewers (4.62mil vs. 3.14mil), 1.13 million more viewers to ANTM (3.66mil v. 2.53mil), 1.1 million more to 90210 (2.82mil v. 1.72mil) and 1.08 million more to Smallville (3.25mil v. 2.17mil), which recently moved to Friday nights this season. The network does a great deal of advertising with in-show product placement (see Vitamin Water, Sunkist and Dr. Pepper), and website ads during streaming videos of their shows.
While the CW is eager to brag about boosting their viewership with the help of DVR, it’s once again technology that is doing them a disservice. Online viewership for Gossip Girl has always been a good chunk of that shows viewership. Yes, 90210 has the largest percentage gains of any show on television, but do advertisers care to invest their money in expensive 30-second ad spots if half of their core demographic is simply going to fast-forward their ad anyway? With their “TV to Talk About” campaign, The CW hopes to bring viewers in from the get-go with the use of graphics reminiscent of the social networking site Twitter in the corner of their broadcast, viewers are meant to watch the shows and immediately chat about them online, getting more and more potential viewers interested in the shows. The Live-Only viewership ratings aren’t seeing much of an improvement, but the straight-to-the-point viewing experience that the DVR can offer is showing to be much of the CW’s core audience.
The question is, how long until the CW’s advertisers lose faith as more and more viewers choose to watch hour-long dramas in the span of 40 minutes, cutting out those precious advertisements that fund this TV we are meant to be talking about?