Donald Trump: Reality TV’s Presidential Candidate Rides ‘Earned Media’ to the Nomination

Political analysts distinguish between ‘earned’ or ‘free’ media and ‘bought’ media to explain Donald Trump’s unexpected, continuing dominance of the Republican presidential campaign. As an example of ‘earned’ media, they point to Trump’s appearance as host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which averaged a 6.6 rating, the highest for SNL since January 2012. They cite …

The Dramatic Shift in U.S. TV Viewing: A Conversation with Dr. John Morse about the Nielsen Data

Why is the number of live TV viewers dropping so significantly? Dr John Morse is my valued partner on consulting engagements that require senior-level analysis of U.S. audience viewing habits and trends. Channels, producers and stakeholders all rely on John’s judgement and his access to research data. We recently interviewed him about eroding TV audiences, a situation …

UK Viewing Snapshot: The Highest-rated Program for 40+ Networks

Continuing our snapshot of UK unscripted viewing, following is a list that captures the highest-rated program for each of the major terrestrial broadcasters and their digital brands. The data conveys the scale of viewing for the genre and highlights the major players. And in the next table, the spotlight falls on the vast gulf between UK broadcasters and the …

UK Ratings: Top 50+ Documentary & Lifestyle Programs in 2015

This week, we briefly cover the 50+ highest-rated Factual + Lifestyle programs in the UK for 2015, Year-to-Date. Who Guessed? I phoned several UK producers, and none of them correctly guessed #1. The BBC’s Countryfile came in on top (13.2 rating / 7.7mn). For 25+ years, this weekly hour has drawn viewers to its snapshots of rustic British …

“Binge-viewing is the New Normal.” And It Hurts Reality TV – TiVo Research

A remarkable new study from TiVo Research Group captures how binge-viewing is the new normal for U.S. viewers. Overall 90% of viewers reported binge-vewing. It’s a viewing experience that promotes drama series, like ‘House of Cards.’ And it undermines viewing of reality series. And probably of documentaries and factual specials, too, though these categories aren’t addressed in …

Super Bowl by the Second: The Top 10 Commercials from TiVo Research

At last week’s Realscreen Summit, the turnout at our excellent panel on audience research indicated a strong interest by unscripted professionals in research tools and how they impact programming decisions. I’ll post my findings from the panel soon. Our discussion did touch on second-by-second ratings. Although Super Bowl XLIX is off our factual content focus, this …