Must see TV: the business of sweeps month

Adriene Hill Oct 30, 2015
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Must see TV: the business of sweeps month

Adriene Hill Oct 30, 2015
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It is November sweeps season on television, when networks and local stations pull out all the stops to grab our attention.

“You should expect some special shows, some big movies, some big premieres of TV shows,” said Paul Sweeney, a media analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Also, prepare for an onslaught of ads. “You are going to see a lot of promotion by the TV networks of their programming,” Sweeney said.  

Results from sweeps season help set the ad revenues that local affiliates of networks can charge.

But analysts say the stakes aren’t as high as they used to be. More and more markets are measured year-round.

“I would say within five years, we won’t be talking about sweeps unless we’re talking about something nostalgic,” said Brad Adgate, research director at Horizon Media.

But for now, sweeps still matter — especially in small markets where data gathered during sweeps season are some of the only data advertisers have. So you can still expect to see a whole lot of exclusives, plot twists, and hot exposés.

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