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MBPT Spotlight: Delayed Viewing Boosts Summer Broadcast by Double-Digits

Live-plus-seven-day viewing of broadcast network primetime programming last summer added an additional 2 million 18-49 viewers to the five English-language network’s live-plus-same day cumulative nightly viewer total. That’s an increase of 21% to 10.1 million viewers from 8 million.

In total viewers, live-plus-seven-day viewing added 5 million, rising from a live-plus-same day cumulative total of 22.9 million viewers to 27.8 million, an increase of 18%.

The number of viewers difference between live-plus-same-day and live-plus-seven day last summer vs. the summer of 2013 was very similar, although there were more viewers watching broadcast prime in summer 2013 vs. summer 2014 both overall and in the demo.

During summer 2013, broadcast live-plus-same day 18-49 viewers averaged 9.2 million per night and that increased to 11.3 million in live-plus-seven day viewing — an increase of 18% or 2 million viewers.

Among total viewers during summer 2013, the live-plus-same day cumulative total of 24 million rose to 28.5 million – an increase of 16% or 4.5 million.

While the ratio of viewers watching summer programming in delayed mode leveled off over the past two summers, it still is a sizable chunk of audience.

Last summer CBS averaged the most live-plus-seven-day viewers both in total and within the 18-49 demo. Among viewers 18-49, CBS averaged 2.9 million, followed by NBC with 2.6 million, Fox with 2.3 million, ABC with 1.6 million and The CW with 667,000.

CBS’s live-plus-seven-day summer total viewership averaged 8.6 million. NBC was next with 7.5 million, followed by Fox with 5.2 million, ABC with 5 million and The CW with 1.5 million.

The broadcast primetime series last summer that was most-watched in delay viewing mode was CBS drama Under the Dome. In the 18-49 demo, Dome averaged 2.1 million viewers in live-plus-same day, but that rose to 3.6 million in live-plus-seven-day, an increase of 42%. Among total viewers, Dome grew from 7.2 million in live-plus-same-day to 11.3 million in live-plus-seven, an increase of 4.1 million viewers or 36%.

Fox drama series 24: Live Another Day also did strongly in delayed viewing. The show picked up 1.2 million more viewers across seven days, boosting its live-plus-same-day total from 2 million to 3.2 million, a 38% increase. In total viewers, the series picked up 3 million viewers, or a 33% increase from 6 million to 9 million.

Among the just for summer shows, the only other one to pick up more than 1 million 18-49 viewers over seven days of delayed viewing was Fox competition series MasterChef. The Gordon Ramsay series averaged 2.4 million 18-49 viewers in live-plus-same-day but grew 25% to 3.2 million over seven days.

The most-watched live-plus-same-day summer series, NBC’s America’s Got Talent, on Tuesdays grew its 18-49 viewership from 3 million to 3.7 over a seven-day period, while its Wednesday edition increased from 2.7 million to 3.3 million. In total viewers, AGT rose about 15% for both nights, increasing from about 10.4 million to 12.3 million.

Popular CBS summer reality series Big Brother, with its three weekly airings, picked up an additional 1.3 million total viewers for each episode in seven-day-viewing mode (pushing its live-plus-same day average of 6.4 million to about 7.7 million). In the 18-49 demo, it picked up about 800,000 additional viewers over seven-days, boosting its average for the trio to 3.5 million each.

Most of the just for summer series picked up between 400,000 and 800,000 additional 18-49 demo viewers in live-plus-seven day mode, and had total viewers increases in delayed viewing of between 1 and 2 million.

Interestingly, several of the series that the networks did not bring this summer recorded some hefty viewer gains across seven days of viewing.

NBC drama Believe increased its total viewers from 3.4 million in live-plus-same day to 5.4 million across live-plus-seven, a 39% boost. It also increased its 18-49 viewer total across seven days from just under 1 million to 1.6 million, a 38% increase.

Another NBC drama, Crisis, saw its total viewership rise from 3.3 million to 5.3 million across seven days, a 38% increase, and its 18-49 viewership rose from 1 million to 1.7 million, a 41% jump.

ABC drama Motive’s live-plus-same-day total viewership jumped 1.8 million to 5.8 million over seven days, a 31% increase, while its 18-49 viewers increased by 500,000 to 1.5 million, a 33% hike. The network did not bring it back.

ABC did, however, renew two veteran summer series – Rookie Blue and Mistresses – which had similar 18-49 live-plus same-day viewership as Motive, but each got a larger chunk of live-plus-seven-day audience in the demo. Rookie Blue boosted its 18-49 viewership from 1.2 million to 1.7 million across seven days, while Mistresses increased its from 1.2 million to 2 million, a 40% increase. It does seem like delayed viewing may have, at least in part, contributed to helping to save these shows.