NBC Claims to Know the Ratings for Jessica Jones

Thursday, 14 January 2016 - 11:15AM
Marvel
Netflix
Jessica Jones
Thursday, 14 January 2016 - 11:15AM
NBC Claims to Know the Ratings for Jessica Jones
Netflix famously doesn't release ratings for any of its shows, so although it seems like everyone is watching Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and House of Cards, there's no way to know for sure just how many fans there are. Now, NBC president Alan Wurtzel claims to know the ratings for some of the most popular streaming shows of last year, including nerdy outings like Jessica Jones and The Man in the High Castle.

NBC consulted with media consumption analytics company Symphony Advanced Media, and pulled data from shows watched from September-December of 2015 that allowed them to extrapolate ratings. We don't know for sure if these are correct, but according to Wurtzel, Jessica Jones had 4.8 million viewers, Aziz Ansari's Master Of None pulled in 3.9 million, Amazon's Man In The High Castle had 2.1 million, and Orange Is The New Black had 644,000.

This is not an insignificant number, particularly for Jessica Jones, which seems to be one of the highest-rated streaming shows out there (as it should be). But much has been made of streaming shows replacing live broadcast, and as Wurtzel told Deadline at TCA, "the reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated."

Opening quote
"Compare these programs to shows like The Big Bang Theory, Empire or Blindspot, and they pale in comparison. It's not that people aren't watching, but they (streaming) aren't replacing broadcast."
Closing quote

He's right, of course, that this "replacement" certainly hasn't happened yet. The Big Bang Theory averages 18 million viewers per episode, Empire 17 million, and Blindspot 13 million, which are obviously much greater than anything Netflix could hope to achieve right now. But at the same time, streaming services are relatively new, only really gaining prominence in the last couple of years, and they're already nipping at networks' heels. They may not be able to compete with NBC yet, but they're already on par with lesser-watched networks like The CW. The Flash earned 4.8 million viewers for its pilot episode, the same as Jessica Jones, and was The CW's most-watched show of all time. So NBC may not be in trouble yet, but they shouldn't discount the possibility that streaming will become the new normal in the future.
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Jessica Jones