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Lost Finds 1.4 Million Viewers On

For the first time, Nielsen has released public rankings of individual TV shows watched on network web sites. Lost was the big winner in December, pulling in more than 1.4 million viewers on (s DIS), followed by Saturday Night Live with 1.1 million viewers on (s GE), and Grey’s Anatomy with 879,000 viewers on


The important caveat to these rankings is that Nielsen only included data from the network sites themselves, not outside aggregators like Hulu, which carries NBC and FOX content. Nielsen reported that Hulu streamed more than 216 million videos in December, so that would undoubtedly have an impact on the overall rankings.

The Nielsen data also shows how people are using the web to watch TV on the web differently. While Lost topped December’s rankings, the new season wasn’t even on TV until January, so audiences were most likely refreshing themselves before diving into the mystery. Saturday Night Live on the other hand got a boost from the online buzz generated by sketches that go viral. And then there are the people who are watching online to catch up on missed episodes.

And just as a point of comparison, Grey’s Anatomy had 879,000 unique viewers on during the month December. On the night of December 11 alone, Grey’s Anatomy had 6.2 million viewers.

Nielsen also looked at the time spent with broadcast TV shows, which produced a much different list. Audiences went beyond just trying these shows out, they stayed to watch more of the program (and the ads). While Priveleged only got 29,000 unique viewers, those viewers spent 214.6 minutes (more than three and a half hours) watching it in December. Chuck and Lipstick Jungle may not grab people’s attention on TV, but viewers spent more than two hours watching each of those shows.


And if that wasn’t enough NewTeeVee data for you, Knowledge Networks released a new report today that said about one in five (21 percent) Internet users between the ages of 13 and 54 now watches full TV programs online.

10 Responses to “Lost Finds 1.4 Million Viewers On”

  1. The numbers are basically meaningless without including the over 200 million streams from Hulu. These numbers make it seem as if ABC is dominating the online episodes game when FOX and NBC are clearly the leaders via Hulu.

    I also have questions about CPMs, but it’s highly unlikely that data will be made available. Jason Kilar from Hulu was pressed on that several times at NewTeeVee Live to no avail. At Watercooler, we have partnerships with Hulu and which integrates their videos into our Facebook apps, and they still don’t share that kind of info with us.

    • Chris Albrecht


      Fair enough. But I don’t think they are meaningless. They at least give us a sense of how many people are watching videos on the respective sites and begin to illustrate how important Hulu is to NBC and FOX’s overall online viewership numbers. Now we just need Hulu to cough up their numbers…

  2. Now the big questions is… What CPM did they get for those 1.4 Million viewers? and… How does that compare to what Ask A Ninja’s viewers and CPM?

    Anyone want to chime in and make some noise about this so media buyers will see the value in web video series that reach more people online than LOST does?