Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone in the IHOP

I pulled a semi all nighter last night and after a few hours of trying to learn how to do tables efficiently in CSS and writing a blog entry on Nielsen//Netratings new measurements (that will hopefully be published somewhere else) I wound up starving at 3am and needing food. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep so I headed to IHOP with my iPhone.

I'm sitting there eating my eggs and watching 24 on the iPhone when at about 3:30 I get a beep in my ears that I have an e-mail. It was from Mark Cuban -- who I believe was probably on the east coast and up early. He was responding to an e-mail I'd sent him based on his blog entry about HDNet & HDNet Movies leading in the High Definition ratings according to TNS Media Research.

There wasn't actually any numeric data in the release and the way I read it was unclear to me what it really meant. It indicated the combined HDNets were the ratings leader both in HD-Exclusive networks and broadcast/cable HD simulcasts. So I wrote to Cuban and asked if when Fox ran it's MLB game on Saturday if the combined HDNet/HDNet Movies had more eyeballs than were on the HD version of FOX's MLB broadcast.

This is a case where I believe even when I'm a "focus group of 1", I'm representative. Sports is something that really is enhanced by HD, and so if HDNet beat out the MLB Game of the week in HD, I would have found it astonishing.

Cuban e-mailed to say, no, HDNets didn't have more eyeballs than the MLB game in HD on Fox, but that on average for the day, HDNets averaged more viewers than Fox HD (and all other HD).

I'm happy for HDNet, and I think it is a nice achievement that I would likewise trumpet if I were running an HD tv network. But I'm not and am more into head-to-head comparisons with real numbers. I think eventually there will be some publicly available data that's sliced like that, but we're not there yet.

In the meanwhile, being in IHOP (or maybe they will change it to iHOP) at 3:30 a.m. watching TV on my iPhone and getting e-mail from Mark Cuban -- it made me smile.

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