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Using a nested logit model to forecast television ratings


  • Danaher, Peter
  • Dagger, Tracey


The television environment has become increasingly complex over the past decade, but scant attention has been paid to the modeling and forecasting of television ratings. In this study we use a little-known version of the nested logit model that is suitable for aggregate choice decision data, since television ratings are aggregate measures. We extend this model to include television program random effects, and develop a novel method for predicting program random effects for programs that have not previously been broadcast. Our dataset is comprehensive, spanning the period 2004–2008, and has program ratings for each main broadcaster, as well as some satellite channels, in a market with over 70 channels. We compare our model’s forecasts with those of several other models and show that it markedly outperforms these models.

Suggested Citation

  • Danaher, Peter & Dagger, Tracey, 2012. "Using a nested logit model to forecast television ratings," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 607-622.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:28:y:2012:i:3:p:607-622 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2012.02.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey H. Horen, 1980. "Scheduling of Network Television Programs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 354-370, April.
    2. Givon, Moshe & Grosfeld-Nir, Abraham, 2008. "Using partially observed Markov processes to select optimal termination time of TV shows," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 477-485, June.
    3. Roland T. Rust & Mark I. Alpert, 1984. "An Audience Flow Model of Television Viewing Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(2), pages 113-124.
    4. Dubin, Jeffrey A, et al, 1992. "The Demand for Tax Return Preparation Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 75-82, February.
    5. Nikolopoulos, K. & Goodwin, P. & Patelis, A. & Assimakopoulos, V., 2007. "Forecasting with cue information: A comparison of multiple regression with alternative forecasting approaches," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 180(1), pages 354-368, July.
    6. Danaher, Peter J. & Dagger, Tracey S. & Smith, Michael S., 2011. "Forecasting television ratings," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1215-1240, October.
    7. Kelton, Christina M. L. & Schneider Stone, Linda G., 1998. "Optimal television schedules in alternative competitive environments," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 451-473, February.
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