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CBS Claims Boost From New Nielsen Content Ratings

CBS says viewing of its entertainment shows grew an average of 54% using Nielsen's new Total Content Ratings, compared to Nielsen's live plus same day rating.

Total Content Ratings included delayed viewing over 35 days and counts people who watch on VOD, TV and DVRs.

The numbers show that while traditional ratings have been declining, more people are watching CBS programming than 15 years ago, the network said.

Nielsen's Total Content Ratings are only in limited commercial release. Some programmers complained that Total Content Ratings weren't ready for public consumption because there are some categories of viewership that are not included, including mobile and viewing of shows on Hulu.

Nielsen had planned to release Total Content Ratings in March, but after the outcry it decided to give individual programmers access only to their own numbers and let the programmers decide what data to include in reports before the limited data was shared with media agencies.

CBS has been one of the companies cooperating most closely with Nielsen.

"The CBS Television Network is already the most watched content platform in the world, and these new metrics demonstrate that, as people's viewing habits change, our position of strength only grows," said David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and president of CBS VISION. "This brand new data is a potentially very valuable media planning tool for our clients and their agencies. It certainly adds a new dimension to an advertiser's program selection process, as well as more clarity about the true incremental viewing that is of enormous and increasing value in today's changing landscape."

Here is how some individual CBS shows did:

*             The Big Bang Theory grew 67% to 24.40 million viewers (from 14.62 million using live plus same day).
*             NCIS was up 43% to 21.32m (from 14.86m).
*             Freshman drama Bull was up +56% to 19.47m (from 12.46m).
*             Blue Bloods added more than six million viewers in Nielsen's total content rating metric.
*             Criminal Minds, NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion all added well over five million viewers.

"Once digital measurement is added in the near future, we expect another bump in our viewership numbers, especially given the rapid growth and success of our digital platforms, including, the CBS App and our subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, CBS All Access," Poltrack said. "Plus, these expanded metrics showcase the tremendous popularity and value of our content assets as they are increasingly licensed in the multi-platform global syndication marketplace."