Fox Broadcasting chairman, entertainment Kevin Reilly at the TCA press tour Thursday told critics the net will start releasing more internal cross-platform viewing data in a push to center public attention beyond next-day live ratings that are only “a fraction of the story.” His request echoes those of many cable programmers frustrated that certain shows with enormous followings beyond Live+3 seldom get full credit as consumers time-shift viewing across different platforms. Fox’s internal dashboard, which already combines various linear metrics with streaming data from Hulu and other online/mobile environments, could even divide viewing data into cross-platform, 30-day chunks to create a more complete and long-term picture.
A Fox rep said the net could eventually distribute such data on a weekly basis. While Reilly acknowledged that the “vast majority” of linear viewing occurs over the 1st 3 days (Live+3), he said that “on other platforms that’s not the case,” with Fox’s internal data suggesting that VOD views are “equally proportioned” over 30 days. Yet Nielsen only gives credit for the 1st 3 days of VOD viewing. “We think that’s an antiquated and arbitrary policy that we’re going to be pushing back on,” he said, noting that Fox will start rolling out dynamic ad insertion in VOD environments this year “to try to counter that.”
Reilly gave props to cable’s ratings strides—while noting it still has only 4 of the top 50 shows and yet gets more slack to present low-rated shows as hits. “I think we’re all in the same game,” he said. “I don’t have any chip on my shoulder. I think it’s all fair competition. I watch a lot of those shows.” But noting “The Mindy Project,” which averages a 2.2 rating and beats most cable shows, Reilly said “it is very frustrating that the word ‘hit’ would be attached to these shows without any asterisk, without any notation of any relevant audience or performance,” he said. “I would watch ‘Louie’ on a loop, but you have to combine Louie and ‘Girls’ together to get anywhere close to the Mindy rating.”