New TV "Stickiness" Measurement

September 28, 2009

TVbytheNumbers sheds some light on television’s newest ratings index, “stickiness,” which measures the percentage of a TV program actually viewed against the average percentage of all other programs in the time slot category. The metric is designed to assess how well “tuned-in” viewers are to a particular program.

The system was developed by Rentrak and here’s a view snippets of their informational press release:

The “Stickiness” Index is based on the average percentage of the program viewed, divided by the average percentage viewed for all series of that duration during Monday-Sunday primetime (8pm-11pm) program series roll up air times. Programs with the most engaged viewers will have higher “stickiness” indexes.


“The correlation of ratings-to-engagement is an integral component in determining how “tuned in” viewers are when they are watching their favorite programs,” said Bruce Goerlich, Chief Research Officer, at Rentrak. “Rentrak’s large data sets allow for granular and consistent analysis of hundreds of networks, and the Stickiness Index shows the level of program engagement.”

Payout Perspective:

The release goes on to share the stickiness ratings for the week’s of September 9th and 14th, and here is how MMA and its competitors scored:

Stickiness       AT&T Rank                       Program                        Network       # of Telecasts     Stickiness Index
       10th       —         84th        —    Ultimate Fight Night   —         Spike     —                1             —             138
       15th       —         179th      —    The Ultimate Fighter  —         Spike     —                3             —             136
       21st        —         103rd     —    WWE Smackdown!       —         MyNet   —               1             —              130
       25th       —         64th        —    WWE Monday Night    —         USA       —                1             —              129

The stickiness metric could potentially add a lot of value to sports television, because it measures the degree of total viewership in a segement where advertising and sponsorship is most heavily activated during the programming itself.

Sports properties like the UFC can bring this metric to the negotiating table when meeting with advertisers and sponsors to show them exactly what they’re getting for their investment. And if those properties can further complement this metric with additional measurements or demographic information tailored to the specific client, they should then be able to increase the value of those advertising and sponsorship agreements.

It looks to be a wonderful tool, and the possibilities are seemingly endless. Keep an eye on it.

Please note: Rentrak is a publicly traded company, but I do not hold any of their stock. I’m a poor MBA student…my investments are tied up in my education. 🙂

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