Viewer Sentiment About Fall TV Season Differs from Ratings


CHICAGO: The findings from STRATA’s Fall TV Sentiment Survey reveal that in many cases viewers’ attitudes about a show are not necessarily in line with ratings, citing The Millers and The Blacklist as two examples.

The survey, conducted by STRATA—a media buying and selling software company—found that while 13.3 million viewers watched the premiere of CBS’s The Millers, only 3 percent of respondents indicated that it was their favorite new show. NBC’s The Blacklist, meanwhile, was most popular with respondents, with 15 percent saying it was their favorite, though its ratings were lower than The Millers, drawing 12.6 million viewers.

Also, The Crazy Ones was watched by 15.6 million viewers in its premiere, beating The Michael J. Fox Show, which drew 7.5 million. However, 11 percent of survey respondents favored The Michael J. Fox Show, while 4 percent chose The Crazy Ones. When respondents were asked to pick their overall favorite show, including new series and established programs, not even one person polled chose The Crazy Ones. The series grabbing that top spot was The Big Bang Theory, which received 13 percent of the vote.

The survey also revealed that some networks are facing brand awareness challenges. For example, only 76 percent of NCIS fans, 73 percent of The Big Band Theory fans and 63 percent of How I Met Your Mother fans were able to identify them as being CBS shows. Similarly, 77 percent of Scandal fans and only 56 percent of Modern Family fans identified ABC as the broadcaster. However, 89 percent of fans of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. accurately chose ABC. FX led with viewer recognition, as 94 percent correctly identified Sons of Anarchy as an FX show.

CBS and NBC both led as the networks with the best new programming, according to survey respondents. ABC came in third, FOX in fourth and AMC in fifth.

“The sentiment survey indicates that ratings are not telling the full story,” said Mike McHugh, the VP of STRATA. “It is important for advertisers to look beyond ratings and consider sentiment and viewing habits. Advertisers might want to consider sentiment just like they take demographic data into consideration in ad planning and buying.”