Of course, they have no choice, says Josef Adalian. Which is why "even as recently as five years ago, most of this season’s standout shows would have been considered mild disappointments or worse," he says. Adalian adds: "For one thing, the same-day and even the seven-day DVR ratings that get widely reported don’t represent anywhere near the totality of viewing for network shows. Broadcast-obituary writers reflexively dismiss it as spin when networks release ratings that add up how a show performs across multiple platforms over four-to-five weeks. But it really isn’t spin, at least not totally. This isn’t exactly a news flash, but viewers simply don’t watch TV the way they used to now that streaming shows on demand has become so easy, even for broadcast-native programming. Why shouldn’t broadcasters tout cumulative ratings information which better represents a show’s actual appeal? After all, HBO and Netflix generate positive headlines all the time for releasing data demonstrating how many viewers watched (or even simply sampled) series across the course of a month and, in the case of HBO, across multiple platforms. That’s how Game of Thrones was able to claim an audience in excess of 20 million viewers by the end of its run."