Fox Bosses Talk Dumping Live TV Ratings: ‘We Don’t Think We’re Out on a Limb’

TCA 2016: “Waiting three days … is not really that much of a hardship,” Gary Newman tells TheWrap

Fox has no regrets over being the first broadcast network to disown Live + Same Day TV ratings, Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman assured TheWrap on Friday.

The duo drew a line in the sand for 2016, and although they currently exist on a lonely bandwagon, the executives said they’ve received a bunch of proverbial high-fives on the backlots of their contemporaries.

“Clearly, we don’t think we’re out on a limb,” Newman told TheWrap during Fox’s executive session at the Television Critics Association press junket. “And certainly privately, we got nothing but positive feedback from people we work with and our colleagues at other companies.”

“It’s because it’s just common sense,” he explained, citing an industry reliance on non-“live” viewing sales metric.

Newman also swore that, internally, they don’t judge shows the old way anyay, nor do they even have conversations with producers until three-day delayed-viewing numbers are in.

“Honestly, it just felt hypocritical to focus on Live + Same Day when no decisions at all were being made based on it,” he said. “Waiting three days to take a look at what the numbers look like is not really that much of a hardship.”

Walden backed up those sentiments moments later, when we asked about the potential temptation to wade back into those potentially antiquated waters when solid same-day “Idol” or “Empire” numbers come out.

“We knew that we would face that particular dilemma,” she said. “The press is going to write ultimately what the story is that they’re covering.” TheWrap, like many Hollywood publications, reports Live + Same Day Nielsen ratings each morning.

But Walden doesn’t believe the opting-out puts their network in a place of competitive disadvantage in terms of media coverage, pointing to two examples of each.

“The good with the bad,” she called it. “We’re not calling about ‘Empire’ or ‘Idol,’ neither are we calling about ‘Scream Queens’ or our comedies.”

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