PVR usage grows Cracked debut episode audience

One show, many audiences: The CBC cop drama adds to the industry debate that has broadcasters urging a look beyond overnight ratings to the audience impact of PVRs, online streaming and VOD usage.
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Credit PVR viewing and social media buzz for sending last week’s episode of Cracked to 791,000 watchers, up 43% from a week-earlier 552,000 2+ audience for the CBC cop drama, according to BBM Canada data.

Kirstine Stewart, executive vice president of CBC English services, told Playback the premiere episode of Cracked had around 26% PVR usage, bringing the first week total audience to 713,000 viewers.

She points to a similar bump in viewership for Arctic Air, whose ratings also grew louder when moving from overnights to a seven-day window.

Advertisers may be uneasy about viewers skipping ads,  but broadcast executives on both sides of the borders are urging industry watchers to look beyond overnight ratings to PVR, online streaming and VOD to gauge the real audience for rookie shows early in a TV season.

“That shows you the effect and power of the PVR, at least for that week and those shows in particular,” Stewart argued.

Cracked executive producer Peter Raymont at White Pine Pictures added social media buzz for the cop drama was strong, as was promotion from the CBC, especially after the return of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.

Raymont also credits Bruce MacDonald, who directed the second episode of Cracked‘s rookie season.

“So it really looked like a feature film, with spectacular cinematography by the award-winning Norayr Kasper,” he said.