Firebrand Ratings: How Many People Watch One Hour of TV Commercials

Quick intro: Firebrand is a one-hour 11pm weeknights TV show on ION that has nothing but commercials. The show has a website. The idea is that "viewers will gladly watch commercials" if they are entertaining and non-intrusive.

AdRants did a post on Firebrand a few days ago, saying, "We're pretty sure the only people watching Firebrand this week or any week will be people working in advertising, hardly an audience large enough to support the company's grandiose vision of becoming some sort of popular destination. "

Shari Leventhal, Firebrand's CEO, responded (fourth comment after the post on AdRants): "We've had over 2.5 million viewers watching Firebrand on average each week."

Curious, I checked the numbers:

  • Number of people watching Firebrand TV show on ION (11 pm weeknights): 106,000*
  • Number of people employed in advertising agencies in the US: 188,100**

Am I doing the math wrong? Is Nielsen off?

Below is the website traffic estimate (uniques) from

* Nielsen's ratings for Jan 1-31 2008 for Firebrand: 0.09 HH (106,000 average nightly viewers), 0.06 AD2554 (75,000 adult viewers 25-54)

** US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nov 2007 estimate, full chart pulled from this page.

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