One reason TNT's The Last Ship didn't sink? Video on demand

In this cord cutting world we now live in, why subscribe to cable?

One of the main reasons to continue subscribing is because of how robust video on demand (VOD) libraries have become. On Xfinity on Demand this year, networks stacked more than 550 current TV series.

Just five years ago, a critically acclaimed show may have been canceled early because there simply wasn’t an opportunity for a potential audience to catch up in season. One option at the time was Netflix, but a show’s most recent season only became available after its finale. Another option now is Hulu Plus, but sometimes episodes are limited to the most recent four. With fully stacked seasons on VOD, though, ratings can grow stronger week over week (see: Fox’s Empire) while a show is still airing.

Turner is one beneficiary of this. Last summer, TNT's original drama The Last Ship saw week over week growth on Xfinity on Demand. 1.1 million people watched the premier episode of the show via the cable provider's VOD service – of this group, 64 percent of people watched after the live airing but within the first week; happened; 30 percent of views followed week four.

“We experimented with stacking a handful of series in 2014 in order to research the impact of putting full seasons up on a video on demand basis on the Comcast platform, Jennifer Mirgorod, executive vice president of brand distribution for Turner Content Distribution (TCD), tells Found Remote. “We were pleased to find that the additional content led to an increase in ratings in Comcast homes. The ratings success, plus the addition of dynamic ad insertion and promotion around the availability of series on demand, have made this an integral part of our programming plan.”

TNT and The Last Ship not only attracted more viewers in-season because of their Comcast VOD strategy, but they did so within the ever-important Live + 3 window. The 18-49 Live + 3 ratings in Comcast households were 30 percent higher on average throughout the season.

Because of the success of The Last Ship and another original, Murder in the First, TNT and TBS will expand their stacking approach this summer. American Dad, Cold Justice, Falling Skies, Legends, Librarians, Murder in the First and The Last Ship, along with new series Angie Tribeca, Clipped, Proof and Public Morals will all be fully stacked.

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