12-2010: Chuck Gets An Up-tic In The Ratings

(originally from here).

Were You Concerned About The Ratings?

Ratings: September 20 Through Nov. 29 2010

I am by no means a “ratings guru”, so I really can’t say I understand the effect these numbers might have in corporate boardrooms. Chuck, and all the shows we’ve been paying attention to in fact, have been showing more than a little improvement over the past few weeks, but it’s hard to know what this means when it comes time to renew because a bigger game is afoot.

NPR had this report earlier this week regarding the NBC-U/Comcast merger:

JOEL ROSE: Online video is a growing industry that includes Netflix and Hulu, among other players. And it’s one of the key issues federal regulators are considering as they decide what conditions to place on the $28 billion mega-merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Here’s outgoing NBC CEO Jeff Zucker at a public event earlier this month.

Mr. JEFF ZUCKER (CEO, NBC): I think we’re in the end game of the regulatory process here. I think the big issue is the future of online video, and what are going to be the conditions on the deal, really, around that.

We’re in a new era. When Mr. Jeff Zucker talks about “online video”, he means more than movies. He means shows like Chuck too. Ratings are still important, obviously, but it’s clearly not the only consideration for a networks bottom line.

The sale of NBC to Comcast also brings in the federal government, which makessome of the decision making process political.

Dec 01, 2010 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) — November 30, 2010 Contact: Ed Shelleby Ed@franken.senate.gov 202.224.1868 Sen. Franken Asks FCC, DOJ to Stop Comcast-NBC Merger, Investigate Comcast’s Apparent Violation of Net Neutrality, Antitrust Laws Franken’s Letter in Response to Comcast’s Decision to Place Recurring Fee on Potential Competitor WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/30/10]–Today, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking them either to stop the Comcast-NBC merger or to impose tough restrictions on the resulting company in light of recent Comcast actions that may violate both net neutrality and antitrust laws.

Yes, it’s complex and involves more than NBC and even HULU. It’s going to influence what we’ll see on TV and be able to see online and how much it’s going to cost.

On the face of it, it’s nice to see Chuck regain a 2.0 rating in the desirable 18-49 demographic. I suspect that it’s a result of the very positive reaction to the previous episode, Chuck vs. Phase 3, and doesn’t hurt Chuck’s chances for a fifth season. Not at all!

But other than persuading Nielson families to watch the show, the best we can do in this environment, I believe, is continue to talk about Chuck on-line and continue to let advertisers know we are the most engaged viewers that they are ever likely to find.

– joe