Regarding Nielsen: I agree that inclusio…

Regarding Nielsen: I agree that inclusion of DVR viewership is long overdue, but the criticism of Nielsen is misplaced. In fact, Nielsen offers many different kinds of viewership data, and DVR viewership has been among the available data for years. (See, for example, this 2005 press release.)

But Nielsen has no control over what data the networks use to make their programming decisions, and the networks have never cared about DVRs. Of course, there’s a long tradition of stupidity among network programming executives (see, e.g., Roddenberry et al., 1969).

But they’re not all idiots. TiVo does, in fact, collect detailed viewership data — including second-to-second ratings of both TV shows and commercials — and some networks have been quicker than others to pay attention. I only wish CBS had been among them back when Jericho was struggling.

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