April 19, 2012

Mad Men's viewing figures have been "wrongly interpreted"

In an attempt by Sky Atlantic to defend the highly promoted Mad Men's laughablly low audience figures, Sky Atlantic Director Naomi Gibney has written an interesting defence on MediaGuardian.
Whilst I don't disagree that viewing habits have changed thanks to Sky+, TiVo et al, she's ignoring the elephant in the room which is the number of people who love the show (like me) who are denied access by it only being available on Sky and therefore access it "by other means" (I use a US iTunes account but I'd imagine most aren't paying). Until media companies make their content available to all legitimately, that elephant will stampede through their profits regardless...


Phil Baxter said...

She's defending the indefensible.

Even if Sky Atlantic was available for free on every platform, as the BBC is, it would still be an inferior way to watch Mad Men due to relentless ad breaks.

As it stands Mad Men is now only available to satellite customers... and anyone with an internet connection.

It's really a shame to see one of the last remaining good US shows treated so shamefully.

Richard said...

Personally I don't watch mad men...
Sorry maybe I should :-)

But as is said, the problem of low figures is because of closed/restricted content and a lowsey viewing experience with 13 minutes of advertising per hour.
Do you sell to the few for a premium or the masses for a pittance. I know what I would do if it were me in this industry!

Sky will learn the hard way like the music industry and unless the relook at their business model, many a good program will fall by the wayside with poor figures and they will loose that advertising revenue.

Shame on them.

Idrathepoza said...

Sky win both ways - they charge for a TV subscription and sell ads. Would you not have thought that the moguls within Sky could have treated these series with the reverance they deserve and perhaps just restricted themselves to one ad break (or perhaps none at all - what am I saying!) during what is normally a 42 minute show. They manage to show a whole half of football without an ad break. Same old case of Sky wanting its cake and eating it. Until Sky goes upmarket - and stops fleecing people - their viewing figures for what are premium shows will be poor

Nialli said...

I'm surprised that Sky has ad breaks in its high profile imports. Sky Arts 1 and 2 don't have them, nor do the movie channels.
On a more positive note, I do like the way the Sky DOG disappears after a minute or two during programmes. Makes you wonder though why they bother with it at all.

sibod said...

Sky are deliberately limiting their criteria for 'success' by saying 'In Sky homes" when comparing last years season on BBC4 to mad Mens Sky Atlantic premier. This is deliberate, as they can say it is 'like for like'.
Surely Sky's sole reason for aquiring Mad Men and other shows is to lure in new viewers deseprate to see their favourite shows? If so - that failed miserably.
Furthermore, they lumped in timeshift viewing, which the premier from last year did not include. (Where are the Repeat showing + iPlayer figures for Season 4 of Mad Men? on BBC4?)

Lastly, the elephant in the room is the lack of Atlantic on Virgin Media - around 4 million more potential viewers that cant get it on a pay TV platform due to sky greed.

Kevin Lloyd said...

I think it's significant that Sky feel moved to defend their position even with the most tendentious set of figures and arguments. But since their adverts are pushing Atlantic as one of the dividing lines between VM and themselves there's no sign of any movement on opening up the channel to other viewers. The Sky Arts channels are used as a way of showing some greater responsibility (and also attaching the Sky name to prestige institutions)and are curated accordingly but Atlantic forms a quite different part of the business model. One might (and at this point I see small hooved creatures moving past the window) think that low viewing figures would worry the advertisers. But one wonders what numbers Sky have assumed in their financing model given that other shows (e.g. Game of T) attract genuinely significant numbers. Finally on ad breaks, Homeland anyone? But I time shift almost all viewing and have a well honed FF technique developed over many years.