The Walking Dead season 7 ratings rise when DVR views are counted


The Walking Dead ratings for Episode 3, “The Cell”, rose by millions when DVR and On Demand views were counted. Live viewer numbers don’t tell the whole story.

It seems like every week another website is shrieking that The Walking Dead ratings have fallen again and that the show is dying. It’s not true, so don’t panic just yet. It is true that the live viewer numbers are down. But live viewer ratings are only one piece of the ratings puzzle.  The Walking Dead is still the highest rated show on cable. The show’s ratings outpace other shows by tens of millions.

Most of the panic about the The Walking Dead ratings comes from sources that are only taking into account the live viewer numbers. That means that they are only counting the number of people who watch the show when it’s broadcast on AMC on Sunday night. But that’s not the only way that people watch the show.

Millions of people watch the show during the week either on DVR or streaming it online. Some people watch it multiple times. Not everyone is able to watch the show live on Sunday nights but that doesn’t mean they don’t watch it. Sources that only count the live viewer numbers are only counting a small fraction of the actual number of viewers.

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Episode 3 “The Cell”

For example, episode 3 of the current season, “The Cell”, had only 11.7 million live viewers. As far as The Walking Dead ratings go that is kind of low.  But, the ratings jumped to 17.2 million after the Live+7 numbers were counted. Live+7 counts all the viewers during the broadcast plus all the people who watched in the 7 days after the episode aired. It also counts all viewing platforms including streaming, DVR and On Demand.

So looking at the Live+7 numbers and the Live+3 numbers gives a more accurate count of how many people are reality watching The Walking Dead.

The third episode of Season 6, “Thank You”, had just over 13 million live viewers. That is only slightly more than “The Cell”. That was the episode when Nicholas killed himself and made it look like Glenn had died so there was a lot of interest in that episode.

Next: Will there be a movie based on The Walking Dead?

Episode 4 “Service”

The Walking Dead ratings will continue to increase when all views are counted. “Service” was an extended episode which is usually a big draw for fans. But the live viewer number was down from the previous episodes this season. “Service” had 11.4 million viewers during the AMC broadcast on Sunday night. That’s not a reason to panic though. Ignore all the media hype proclaiming that the show is dying. The Live+3 and Live+7 numbers haven’t come in yet. “The Cell” snagged another 5 million views in the extended ratings. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if “Service” did the same and jumped in ratings.