IFC today joined the pack of TV networks announcing it will wait for time shifted viewing numbers before reporting its show ratings because the metric a provides a more accurate reflection of audience size these days than the immediacy of Live+Same Day results.
But, because IFC bills itself as “the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies” it annnounced it would lead the industry in a shift to a slightly off version of the current Live+3 ratings reporting metric: Live+2.9999. Except Nielsen has not yet developed a Live+2.9999 ratings category, so IFC will continue to default to Live+3 in reporting viewership in this interim period. Phew!
Throughout its recent Season 5, IFC’s signature show Portlandia averaged an increase of 108% in adults 18-49 with Live + 3 compared to Live + Same Day, with some episodes jumping up to 179%. Meanwhile, the first 10 episodes of the current fourth season of Comedy Bang! Bang! saw an 81% demo increase within three days, the second season of Maron grew 56%, The Spoils of Babylon 69%. On average, premiere episodes of the network’s original programming in 2014 grew 73%.
In January, NBCUniversal jumped on the bandwagon, announcing its cable networks would distribute Live + Same Day ratings only for live sports and entertainment and event programs, waiting for Live + 3 stats for all other programs. FX is credited with starting the movement, which now also includes HBO and Showtime among its members. Reporters Who Cover Television, however, while writing enthusiastically about each network’s decision, continue to pump out next-day numbers on those nets, obtained from other sources.
Broadcast networks, meanwhile, still issue next-day numbers, but now regularly issue Live + 3 Day stats when they come in, and include projections for that data in their next-day reports.