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Warner Bros. TV Group chief wants better ratings system

April 17, 2012 |  1:29 pm

The Vampire Diaries
LAS VEGAS — Warner Bros. Television Group President Bruce Rosenblum said it is crucial that Nielsen come up with better ways to measure who is watching television.

"This is our bread and butter," Rosenblum said during in a session at the National Assn. of Broadcasters convention here. The TV industry, he suggested, needs a more "efficient and effective measurement of all the places content is being watched."

Rosenblum cited Nielsen ratings for the CW Network as a particular source of frustration. The CW, which is co-owned by Warner Bros. and CBS, carries shows that primarily target teens and young adults, an audience whose viewing habits have proved hard to track. CW's drama "The Vampire Diaries" (pictured above) averages just under 4 million viewers, and "Gossip Girl" has an audience of only 1.7 million, according to Nielsen.

"We know there are more viewers engaged in our content than we are getting credit for," said Rosenblum, who called the measurement of CW ratings by Nielsen "one of our great frustrations."

The CW has been very aggressive putting its content online soon after it airs on the network. Last month, the CW said it was cutting the window from three days to several hours from when a show aired on the network to when it went online on its website.

That move, while not hurting CW's ratings, does make it more important that reliable measurements of online viewing emerge. "Somebody will have to break the code," Rosenblum said about the challenges of measuring viewing on computers, mobile devices and tablets.

Though he was careful not to bash Nielsen, noting that the ratings company is "trying," he also noted that Nielsen still uses handwritten diaries to gather ratings information in much of the country.


CW to put shows on Web faster

— Joe Flint

Photo: "The Vampire Diaries." Credit: Annette Brown / The CW.