Are Ad Rates Directly Correlated to Ratings?--FOX Edition

The Ratings Junkie Saturday, November 07, 2015
Recently the ad rates this series were released (click here). Let's look at FOX now, and see how far off or close some shows' ratings may be from their relative standing in ad prices. For new shows, this is largely due to an over/under estimation of its ratings--for veteran shows, it may depend on expected trends, the demographics it hits, etc.

In the 2014-2015 TV season, FOX's scripted show average for fall series was a 1.415. This year's average ad rate for a fall FOX show was $149,758, rounded to the nearest dollar. WITHOUT Empire, it is $121,140. I am going to use that number for the purpose of this data, as when I tried the average ad rate with Empire factored in, it just wasn't making sense. At all.

Since the rates aren't that different this season from last season, let's say FOX is expecting another 1.415 average. Let's see what the predicted ratings for the shows would be if the ratings and ad rates were directly correlated:

Starting this article, the numbers listed are for the A18-49 demo unless otherwise noted. Also, note that this by far is going to have the greatest margin of error. For one, Empire wasn't on the schedule last fall; Mulaney, Red Band Society, and Gracepoint were, two of which had even lower ratings towards the end of their runs after having a burn-off session/time slot downgrade. But regardless, here goes:

-Bob's Burgers: 0.77 (M18-34)
-The Simpsons: 1.82 (M18-34)
-Brooklyn 9-9: 1.43 (M18-34)
-Family Guy: 1.68 (M18-34)
-The Last Man On Earth: 1.33 (M18-34)
-Gotham: 1.85
-Minority Report: 1.75
-Grandfathered: 1.28
-The Grinder: 1.25
-Scream Queens: 1.69 (W18-34)
-Rosewood: 1.05
-Bones: 1.08
-Sleepy Hollow: 1.42

What do you think of these numbers? I know that taking out Empire makes sense, since these numbers would all be significantly less than if Empire's number counted. But even then, the vast majority of the shows listed above are still over the non-Empire average ad rate, due mostly to the fact that Bob's Burgers has a significantly less--and I mean SIGNIFICANTLY less--ad rate than the rest of the shows. Should that have been factored in? Let me know!

Also, Empire (W18-34): The speculated demo number would be a 3.48. That's using the former, higher average ad rate, since you can't really calculate Empire's ad rate without at least adding it onto the average. For the sake of knowledge, the lower, non-Empire-inflated ad rate would have had the show at a 4.3.

I found some interesting trends in these numbers--if correlated, then FOX expected much less out of Scream Queens than predictions I had seen before the season started, yet they also expected higher than it's getting. But then again, networks don't really go around picking up shows that they estimate will hit a 1.1 unless they are The CW.

On Sunday, Bob's Burgers and The Simpsons have already been renewed, and Brooklyn 9-9 is almost certainly guaranteed a fourth season for syndication. With regards to the other two, Family Guy is currently overachieving while The Last Man On Earth is right on par with these estimations. The latter could easily be renewed, but it's also a matter of space on the schedule.

But I do think there will be space considering that neither Grandfathered nor The Grinder are looking good. One could be renewed for save-face since they aren't doing too much worse than the estimates. Also, Scream Queens does not appear healthy right now either.

Meanwhile, look at Rosewood and Bones! Both appear to be in a position to be renewed--even though FOX would probably love if they had the ability to finally retire the latter.

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