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DVR Brings HUGE Ratings Boosts For Fox Shows

Baxter
17 Comments

Posted March 3, 2009 - By Joseph Baxter

DVR = HUGE Ratings Boosts For Fox ShowsAfter the ratings from the last few weeks, some may have had a grim prognosis for Fox's Friday Night Sci-Fi lineup. According to the traditional numbers, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse have been getting trounced in the ratings, week after week. However, it appears that those numbers may be deceptive, as new data may be their saving grace. It appears that recently-released data from Live+7 show that DVR viewings, while not putting them at top, significantly increase the actual numbers for these shows.

The February 13 premiere of Dollhouse originally pulled in a 2.0 rating in the adult demo and was increased to a 2.6, thanks to post-premiere-viewing. However, it is the underrated and struggling Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles that gained the most, with a 36% gain in ratings.

In a night usually dominated by CBS, the numbers also proved encouraging for Fox as the gains for the top-rated shows showed much smaller DVR gains. However, they were still given gains, none the less. Ghost Whisperer with 21%, Flashpoint 11% and Numbers 14%.

It leaves one to wonder if the current ratings system is outdated. People first pondered these issues when the VCR came into the picture and claims that "time-shift viewing" interfered with the ratings. They may have negatively affected shows that were legitimately watched by wide audiences (except on their own free time.) Now, the issues are far beyond anything that could have been imagined back then. Not only are home recording devices still in the mix (albeit different ones), but you have just about every network posting full episodes of their shows online. YouTube and Hulu (more so, Hulu) have also become a major part of peoples' viewing habits and change the way we approach television shows. Last, but not least, there are folks that simply wait for the full season to be released on DVD, who prefer to catch entire seasons at their own viewing pace. Should shows that people prefer to catch at a better time, then suffer for the way in which their viewers catch their shows? This is especially relevant when you consider that the people who do watch them physically went through the act of ensuring that they could watch the show.

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