OlbermannWatch.com "My Faves" Set
OlbermannWatch.com Favorited Photos from other Flickr Users
Got OlbyPhotos? See some on Flickr? DO NOT email us. Send us a FlickrMail instead. Include a link to the photo. If we like the photo you will see it displayed in the Olby Flickr Flood above.
New to Flickr? Sign up for a FREE Flickr account!
New to YouTube? Sign up for a FREE YouTube account!
|Subscribe to Olbermann Watch Mailing List|
|Visit this group|
Recently, Keith Olbermann has been crowing about his ratings "victories" over Bill O'Reilly. In fact, Olbermann and MSNBC will even crow over "near" victories.Never mind that O'Reilly was on vacation on one of the days that Olbermann claimed a "victory". But Olbermann only scored this victory in the "Live Plus" demo ratings. What is a demo you ask? Simple, it's viewers age 24-54, a viewing population highly coveted by advertisers. And "Live Plus"? That's the number of viewers who watch both live, as the program airs, PLUS the number of people who record the program on DVR's.
Naturally any network will claim the ratings set most favorable to them, and it is very clear that without those DVR numbers, Olbermann can't claim a "
But on the Sept. 7th Countdown, Olbermann claimed that it was these Live+SD ratings that advertisers used to place their ad buys, not the Live data. LIAR!
Spud at ICN breaks it all down for us here about what the difference between Live and Live Plus ratings are and what they really mean to advertisers.
As longtime readers have no doubt noticed, ICN has been noting the various controversies regarding traditional Live ratings vs. Live+SD ratings. Monday, the story took a new and unexpected twist when I heard from a top industry ad sales executive regarding ad buying. The executive said that all commercial time purchased through the end of September for cable news is based on Live ratings and not Live+SD ratings.
But let's go to the transcript of the Sept. 7th episode of Countdown to see what Keith Olbermann told his audience about what these ratings mean:
There are two ratings for each show. There's total audience and then there's the demo. Your audience of people aged 25 to 51. They're the ones the advertisers are trying to reach with those commercials. That demo number is the one advertisers use to decide whether or not to buy a commercial. People get hired and fired based on the demo. The difference is like the difference between the number of people who read a newspaper and the number of people who buy it. The buyers count. And that night Bill mentioned he had 440,000 buyers and we had 367,000 buyers. Last night, while Billy was whining about this, he was down to 396,000 buyers and we were up to 377,000 buyers. And we had more than he did for the first half hour.
One tiny problem with that claim, advertisers don't care how a show does in a quarter-hour or even half-hour. Secondly and most importantly, Olbermann was using the Live Plus dataset to try and claim a ratings victory on his Sept. 7th show!
Back to Spud at ICN:
Of the cable networks, FNC does not use Live+SD data to publicly benchmark its programming but MSNBC and CNN do (presumably, this also means CNBC and HLN do as well as both are sister networks of MSNBC and CNN respectively). But according to the ad exec, MSNBC and CNN are not selling by Live+SD. (Inquiries to CNN were not returned. An MSNBC spokesperson said they would get back to me but I did not hear back from them before this was published. However I did hear via another source that MSNBC is using Live data to sell advertising).
Got that people? In case you didn't, here it is again. MSNBC and CNN are not selling by Live+SD. OLBERMANN LIED TO HIS AUDIENCE!
More on how ad buys are placed:
A majority (around 75%) of cable and broadcast advertising is purchased well in advance in what are called up fronts. Up fronts run for a year. The current year's up fronts began last September and will expire in a couple of weeks and then next year's up fronts will kick in. This next year's up fronts will be based on a new time shifted standard that was agreed upon between all the broadcast and cable networks and advertisers and is called Live+3.
Olbermann fans have openly embraced the notion of Live+3 because they believe that this will give Olbermann's a ratings advantage. But there's a fly in the ointment:
There is an open question as to whether advertisers will really agree to ad rates based on Live+3 ratings for the cable news niche of the TV spectrum due to the low likelihood that DVR viewers would hang on to news programs past the first 24 hours in most instances, a scenario far more probable for TV dramas, comedies, and movies.
Again, unless you're an obsessed fan, intent on "archiving" Olbermann's every show, there aren't that many people who are going to want to watch three-day old news!
Back to Spud's excellent primer on how ad buys are really placed:
The remainder of the ads that weren't bought as part of up fronts are called Scatter and are divided up to be sold through each of the four quarters of the year. There's all sorts technical considerations involved with the ad rate negotiation process; so technical that I'm not going to attempt to break them down here. . . The fact that Live ratings were used for the up fronts this year and, presumably, last year means that the Live+SD ratings which have been bandied about have been relatively meaningless as a benchmark because they aren't what those nets have been using to charge for advertisements.
Got that? Live+SD ratings which have been bandied about have been relatively meaningless as a benchmark because they aren't what those nets have been using to charge for advertisements. But Olbermann claims it is. Again, OLBERMANN LIED!
It would be argued in some quarters that their importance is very significant for the future because time shifting in the ratings will be part of the next year's ad buys. But what concerns me and what's prompted this entry isn't the future. It's the past. Live+SD ratings have been used on blogs like TVNewser and elsewhere in the MSM and on TV going back nearly two years now in some cases. And that's the problem for me because those ratings apparently weren't being used as part of the ad buying process. They weren't used to negotiate the current year's up fronts. So why were they being used publicly as the benchmark when they weren't being used to contribute to the bottom line?
Let me take a wild guess here: Because without the use of Live+SD ratings, Olbermann's (fat) goose would be cooked. Spud thinks so too:
The likely answer seems to me to be PR. Live+SD ratings are frequently higher than Live ratings. Depending on the program and the day/time it aired the difference could be a few thousand (which technically would put the difference within Nielsen's own margin of error for ratings) or it could be twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty thousand. Or higher. The higher, the better, because it would make a program look better on paper than what a net was really getting for it in advertising money via the Live ratings. And, in the cut throat world of cable news PR, having the highest number is key. It's a clever strategy.
And with Olbermann and MSNBC, and his Enablers, it's all about putting that lie out there and repeating it again and again and again until hopefully someone believes it. And Keith's easily misled fans fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.
The only problem arises if someone finds out the ratings being given out publicly aren't being used to charge for advertising. And charging for ads are what ratings are supposed to be used for.
It's all about the advertising people. Without it, networks die. And as Spud clearly documents here, the set of ratings being used by the likes of TVNewser and MSNBC, are LIES. Futhermore, Olbermann LIES about what they are used for and how they are used and what data set advertisers really use. And Olbermann's witless fans are dumb enough to believe it all, because Olbermann said it, just like they accept everything he says without question. Because Keith would never lie now would he? In the words of Chris Matthews: HA!