TV numbers add up (to a BIG problem)

According to Advertising Age, the folks at DISH have declared the TV commercial dead. Actually, it’s DISH’s new ad campaign for the Hopper, its ad-skipping DVR. You know, the one the networks are suing to try and stop. The nets feel that if they can at least slow down the technology, their business model will continue to be viable, so there’s a lot at stake.

The problem is that this isn’t about technology; it’s about viewers’ outright disdain for the inanity of 30-second ads and their relentless repetition. Ads on TV crossed the line of viewer disrespect a long time ago. Technology that the networks view as the enemy is viewed by viewers as a friend.

But wait! There’s more!

One weeks worth of viewing for Fox's The FollowingFox released numbers that show a significant increase in viewing for the première episode of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon, when adding delayed viewing. Take a close look at these numbers, because Fox doubled the viewing of this program by adding all the options available to viewers. Doubled! No doubt Fox is selling the 20 million number, but the same number cannot be applied to the advertising for the program, because each of the opportunities for growing the overall program number include the ability to skip the commercials. Nielsen provides “Live plus Same Day” viewing numbers, but they don’t tell us how much is live and how much is same day. God forbid, because same day includes the ability to skip commercials.

The war between Madison Avenue and the networks over commercial ratings is going to get super ugly in the months and years ahead. It has to. Who in their right mind will look at that 20 million viewer number from Fox and buy the spin that the same number of folks watched the commercials?

Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

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