3 Minutes Over: Damaging or Not…
I’m trying to get to the bottom of whether Countdown running 3 minutes over could potentially impact Maddow’s viewership numbers at some future point if Current has wider placement and if Countdown has a lot more viewers than it does now. That’s a lot of “ifs” actually. But it still bears investigating. Meanwhile The LA Times’ Joe Flint weighs in with his thoughts (but not the definitive “it can’t possibly work because Nielsen doesn’t function that way” answer I’m looking for)
Olbermann is hardly the first to play this game. Practically all the broadcast and cable networks bleed their shows into the next hour both as an attempt to boost ratings for that hour and to hurt the competition. It doesn’t really do much except tick off the viewing audience at home.
Update: Still don’t have conclusive evidence to prove the idea that running 3 minutes into Maddow’s show will not have any impact beyond annoying the viewers. But given that the decrease in viewers would have to be massively substantial in order to have those three minutes impact Maddow’s total average for the hour, it seems likely.
And there’s this: Last night’s first quarter hour of the Maddow show was the highest quarter hour for that program’s hour. So that three minute overrun had meaningless ratings impact last night.
So while it appears to be a brilliant PR ploy to generate buzz, all that three minute over run is going to accomplish is annoy Countdown’s Maddow fans and cause distress to DVR users who like using the program guide to do their recordings.
I don’t get why Olbermann was chest thumping about this being a competition as a reason for the 63 minute run time when it appears that the extra three minutes appear to accomplish nothing. It’s not going to impact MSNBC and is not going to impact Current either. Those who wanted to watch something else after Countdown is over will most likely still do so. Just maybe 3 minutes late. And with the advent of multiple recording DVRs the overlapping timeslot significance is further rendered moot.