Saturday, March 31, 2007

College Viewers Continue to Deliver for Soaps Under New Ratings System

Soappipe has already explored how better measurement techniques by Nielsen Media Research of college students has revealed significantly greater viewership for daytime soaps (including NBC's PASSIONS and CBS's GUIDING LIGHT), boosting ratings in what was seen as a long-overdue move (and sadly, one made after the decision was made to cancel PASSIONS) to fully capture the viewing habits of young adults--often considered the key demo by advertisers.

In his MediaWeek piece "ABC Benefits From Out-of-Home College Viewers," writer John Consoli notes how the change is affecting the prime-time landscape (and clearly benefiting nighttime soaps like GREY'S ANATOMY and UGLY BETTY, and satisfactorily solving the mystery of why the seemingly lagging Anne Heche vehicle MEN IN TREES snagged a much coveted early renewal from the network.)

"MARCH 29, 2007 - ABC ratings have benefited more than any other broadcast network in prime time from Nielsen Media Research's new measurement of out-of-home viewing by college students,according to an analysis by media agency Magna Global USA. And, ironically, The CW, with the youngest median age, had the second to the fewest number of shows among the Top 20 which benefited most.

According to the Magna analysis, ABC Thursday night drama Grey's Anatomy has gained three rating points among the
18-24-year-old demo group, from a 6.0 to a 9.1, and that has boosted its rating by one rating point in the overall adult 18-49 demo group, since Nielsen began measuring out of home college viewing in January. ABC's other Thursday night dramas Ugly Betty and Men in Trees have also gained among the 18-24 audience, off lower bases.

Betty rose from a pre-college out of home measurement 18-24 rating
of 2.4 to a post measurement rating of 3.7,
a gain of 56 percent, while Trees went from a 1.4 to a 3.3, a gain of 140 percent."

Read the full article here.

Read earlier article Nielsen's Change, Soaps Benefit.

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