NBC Ceases Use of Live+Same Day Ratings When Measuring Performance of Its TV Shows

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Last month it was announced that NBC would be joining broadcast competitors ABC and FOX in no longer utilizing the Live+Same Day ratings performance figures released by Nielsen to measure the success or failure of its programming, particularly for its primetime shows. While those figures are traditionally reported each morning by various media outlets as “fast affiliate” or “fast national” ratings, figures for daytime programming are published one week later, or two weeks later for syndicated programming.

While NBC has decided to put more emphasis on delayed viewing figures than on L+SD, that does not mean outlets will stop reporting them. Outlets, including Soap Opera Network, will continue to report L+SD ratings each day and/or each week for TV programs measured by Nielsen. At the end of the day, it is the fastest data point available to determine how a television show/program is performing despite the ever-expanding measurement methods Nielsen uses to track viewership totals inside and outside of TV households, including Live+3 Days, Live+7 Days (often posted here), Live+35 Days, Commercial+3 (C3) and Commercial+7 (C7), among others.

NBC says it didn’t come to this decision easily but felt in doing so it will help better reflect the changing dynamics of the television business, “specifically, how these early ratings numbers are no longer representative of the performance of a particular show or series.”

“Long gone are the days when a vast majority of viewers watched their favorite shows in the exact timeslot in which they were scheduled. And as a business, we are much more focused on how audiences are watching our shows rather than when audiences are watching our shows, which could be different depending on the genre and demographics of any given series,” the network said to reporters who cover TV ratings last month.

It should be noted that FOX ditched its dependence on L+SD figures in 2015. The CW joined in 2016 and ABC followed in 2019. With NBC joining the fray that leaves CBS as the only broadcast network still utilizing the L+SD measurement method, among others, to help it determine which shows it’ll renew or cancel each TV season.

In recent reports, Soap Opera Network has made a consorted effort to bring our readers additional ratings data points so as to provide a more holistic view of how the daytime soaps — “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless — are performing in delayed viewing, both on a weekly basis and a check on their season-to-date performances, which includes most current figures (L+7). In fact, for the first time ever we shared a demo by demo breakdown of how the soaps perform with viewers as young as two years old to the rarely reported 55+. We will continue providing such reports as they become available alongside our regularly posted weekly L+SD ratings reports.

To learn more about how Nielsen measures TV ratings, click here.