MLP: Clear the Skies!
by =290Pika

A few weeks ago a person by the name of Frith over at The Ponyville Trot sent us some information about MLP’s show ratings via Nielsen, pie graphs and info. The skinny is at least by the eye of Nielsen, the demographic fans of MLP (2 to 11) out power the other side of the fandom (12 to 49).

For our non-us friends or anyone just not familiar, Nielsen is one of the main companies that judges television ratings and has been around for ages. Information is received by “Nielsen Families” or households that signed up for the program. I am unsure of how the modern day rating system works, eons ago you use to get a book from the company and would write down the channels and shows you watched. End of the month you would send the book in. Assuming in this modern age (and from a recent episode of Family Guy) that the ratings are collected via a box hooked up to your cable.

Complete information behind the page break.

[Source: Frith/The Ponyville Trot]

The size of the pies reflects the numbers of viewers.

Remember the Hearts and Hooves stats? Well, here are MORE STATS, this time for the season three opener. From a press release posted on Discovery Press Web on November 13:

The season three premiere of “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic” (Saturday, 10 a.m.) delivered the series’ highest-ever season premiere among Kids 2-11 (327,000), Kids 6-11 (154,000), Women 18-49 (80,000), Adults 18-49 (146,000), Persons 2 (578,000) and Households (323,000). The series premiered on the Hub in 2010 and this marks the third consecutive year of season premiere growth in all key demographics.

The full two-part season premiere of “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic” (Saturday, 10–11 a.m.) earned year-to-year delivery gains among Kids 2-11 ( 183%, 342,000), Kids 6-11 ( 273%, 153,000), Women 18-49 ( 207%, 92,000), Adults 18-49 ( 194%, 156,000), Persons 2 ( 204%, 601,000) and Households ( 183%, 331,000).

So, this data collected by The Nielsen Company suggests that a bunch of people tuned in late and missed part one.

Expanding the data:

For the season 3 two-part premiere on November 10: watched by 601,000 persons aged 2 and up in 331,000 households (thus: 1.8 people per household).
2-11: 342,000
2-5: 189,000 [green] (the age of sponge)
6-11: 153,000 [yellow] (the age of reason)
Persons 12-17 and over 49: 103,000 [red] (The too young to drink and too old to care demographic. Talkin’ ’bout my generation!)
Women 18-49: 92,000 [powder blue]
Not-women 18-49: 64,000 [pink] (Oh, yeah! Equal Rights, shine and sparkle!)

The adult women demographic is growing faster than the adult not-women. The grubs are unchanged and the un-inebriated are kicking asses (or donkeys).

Compare this to the stats for the Wedding episodes, way back in the spring… So long ago.

Quote: The first episode of the two-part “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” Royal Wedding Event (Saturday, 1-1:30 p.m. ET) was The Hub’s best-ever telecast in network history with Kids 6-11, Kids 2-11 and Households. It was the second-best ever among Persons 2 .
The first episode earned year-to-year delivery gains among Kids 6-11 ( 1047%, 218,000), Kids 2-11 ( 1100%, 336,000), Women 18-49 ( 140%, 36,000), Adults 18-49 ( 102%, 95,000), Persons 2 ( 369%, 483,000) and Households ( 286%, 363,000).
The second episode (1:30-2 p.m. ET) was second-best telecast in The Hub’s history with Kids 6-11 and Households, ranking third best-ever with Kids 2-11.
The second episode earned year-to-year delivery gains among Kids 6-11 ( 654%, 211,000), Kids 2-11 ( 487%, 311,000), Women 18-49 ( 80%, 36,000), Adults 18-49 ( 46%, 104,000), Persons 2 ( 157%, 475,000) and Households ( 130%, 341,000).


Somehow, 8,000 people skipped the second episode (they couldn’t take the ‘surprise: brother and baby-sitter princess story elements!’ that just, popped up out of nowhere ¹ ). Thumbing my nose at the 8,000 and expanding the data on the first episode:

For part one of a Canterlot Wedding: watched by 483,000 persons aged 2 and up in 363,000 households (thus: 1.3 people per household).
2-11: 336,000
2-5: 118,000 [green] (it ain’t easy being green)
6-11: 218,000 [yellow] (they’re so mellow)
Persons 12-17 and over 49: 52,000 [red] (fringe of the fringe)
Women 18-49: 36,000 [powder blue]
Not-women 18-49: 59,000 [pink] (Oh, yeah! Equal Rights, let it roar!)

¹ : Yes, I made that up. A better guess would be that it was too scary for small children watching it alone. The 2 – 6 y.o. demographic dropped dramatically, the 6 to 11 y.o. demographic dropped as well, and the number of households dropped by 22,000. That suggests children watching alone to me.

  • Sweetie Drops

    Discovery needs to grow up, they’re so embarassed of men watching a show they have to label them “not women”? Jesus Christ.

    I think there are some hard truths that need to be spoken. MLPFIM is not a very highly rated show. Not there are a billion reasons why this is other than the quality of the show, the Hub is new, the Hub is only available in premium tiers on cable. But the ratings are what they are.

    The only reason I care about the ratings is the survival of the show. Based on these ratings I’d say MLPFIM is the classic cult hit show, similar to say Firefly or Community. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Hub decided to cancel the show without a fourth season. I’d hope everyone understands that and if they’re going to launch a SOS campaign they better do it now.

    What’s kinda discouraging is how small the “not female” viewership actually is. It sucks that most Bronies either can’t afford to get cable/satellite that has the Hub or won’t. Bronies need to understand that it’s not about how much you love the show or how devoted the fanbase is. It’s all about money, and the Hub only cares about people who pay to watch the show aka cable/satellite viewers and this pie tells me not nearly enough do. If you don’t watch the Hub legally you might as well not exist from a business standpoint.

    “Somehow, 8,000 people skipped the second episode (they couldn’t take the ‘surprise: brother and baby-sitter princess story elements!’ that just, popped up out of nowhere ¹ ).”

    Viewer erosion exists for every show.

    • Ponichaeism

      Geez, alarmist much?

      Your assumption that MLP is on the verge of cancellation relies on the notion that all ratings across all channels are equivalent, which isn’t true. Firefly and Community were/are on broadcast channels, which rely on shows getting about 10 million viewers, average, to be successes, and both of those shows peaked at about half that and declined from there.

      The Hub is a two-year-old network competing with established channels with built-in audiences like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, both of which have been around for over twenty years. The Hub, like any other new channel, has to earn its place, and by all accounts, its viewership is expanding astronomically. Just about the dumbest thing they can do is cancel a show whose viewership is going *up*, ESPECIALLY if it’s one of the highest rated shows on the network.

    • Anonymous

      like the other person said, the requirements for a show to be “successful” are not the same across every station.
      that said, I’m more annoyed by your apparent offense towards the pie-graph having “not-women 18 – 49” as a category. calm down, because…
      it’s a graph.
      it’s a graph based on the ratings of a show that was intended for little girls.
      It’s a graph that only chooses to specify the genders of one age group.

      “If you don’t watch the Hub legally–”
      not true. Hasbro, and in extension, the Hub, do care about other media other than the TV network. I’m not going to go in the effort to explain why.

      “Viewer erosion exists for every show”
      Do you see how those numbers are getting HIGHER as the series progresses? I think the show will do just fine.
      it hasn’t peaked just yet.

    • Stereopony454

      @SweetieDrops Actually DHX Media has pretty much confirmed the show will have a forth sesaon. Also the show is one of the HUBS hightest rated programs, they have no intention to cancel it, MLP:FIM is their Adventure Time, Spongebob *insert flagship toon here* so yeah, chillax brah!

      Not to mention Pony sales have doubled since the new incarnation started they are making MAD money off the merch!

  • NZBrony

    The hub is an arm of hasbro, and hasbro is a multi national billion dollar company. Of COURSE they care about those who are watching the show over the internet. We buy the damn toys and shit, which is the entire point of the damn show. To sell toys to us. That’s equally so why they’re not super aggressively taking down the youtube streams and such. They could if they wanted to, culling every episode seconds after it airs and sending CnD’s to everyone involved, but they don’t. Why? Bad business to cut off markets that your cable channel cannot reach, where the internet can. Equally so, itunes distribution. ETC ETC.

  • Oh sweet! You printed my graph! ^_^

    Just so that’s crystal clear: Neilson did not state the number of men 18 and over watching the show. I calculated the number of people who did not identify themselves as women 18 or over and called that subset “not-women” for complete accuracy, and for bonus social and gender identity commentary.

  • Aponymous

    Also what are the ratings (Nielsen does track internet viewership too right?) for online episodes FROM the hub?

    True I’m not 100% sure if can be accessed outside the US,and sure you can say “the quality/resolution/etc.” of the eps aren’t 1080-Super-Awesome-HD (actually they are in HD I think as I’ve only got the hub in SD and there’s “more” on the sides of the hubworld mp4s when I do a quick-look-compare from PC to TV screen) – but still,the more watchers an episode (e.g. a recent,brand new one,or even a repeat like they had of the Season 1 opener parts 1 & 2 the week prior to the season 3 premiere,also I’ve personally been getting the new episodes off hubworld’s streams since Hearts & Hooves day but anyway) has on their own site,the better overall,right?

    and is it just me that noticed they’re putting the newer episode streams up SOONER? (used to be Thursday nights/Fridays like On-Demand I swear…but now seems to be Monday-Tuesdays)

    and again just me or is the overall schedule changing slightly (again,if ya sleep in saturdays,stay up late that night and catch the same thing from 10-11AM ET/7-8AM/PT saturday morning that same saturday night at 2-3AM ET/11PM-Midnight PT

    tl;shortreply: the show’s doing good,the hub is doing good,and therefore the more visits/hits/watches on the site should also be good,right?

  • Nielsen is skewed. They don’t track internet viewership or people who watch after the main airing via the internet. I think iTunes sales and DVD sales would be a more accurate reflection of the viewership. Keep in mind the 12 – 49 demographic likely is an internet consumer, where as the 2 – 11 age group doesn’t really have a choice about their viewing capabilities and are likely limited to TV only.

    • Bhaalspawn

      Nielsen Ratings exist for the purpose of selling commercial space. That’s you succeed as a television show, by being popular enough to bring in advertisers. The more viewers you have on an initial airing, the more you can charge for commercial space. That’s why the ratings exist.

      Internet Viewership and Itunes sales mean nothing. Buying a show on Itunes doesn’t benefit the advertisers who are looking for high ratings to advertise on. And neither the Hub nor advertisers make any money off people watching it on Youtube. Why would they include something that runs parallel to piracy?

      That’s why they calculate Television and first airing viewership. It’s not for us, it’s for the people looking to buy commercial time.

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