Index to Ratings
Notes on US Ratings:
Ratings for the United States are expressed as ratings points; they are frequently referred to as "the Nielsens", after the company that tracks them.
A rating is a percent of the universe that is being measured, most commonly discussed as a percent of all television households. As such, a rating is always quantifiable, assuming you know the size of the universe (TV households, persons, women 18 - 34, and so forth).
Per the same website, there were:
This number includes households which receive broadcast signals, as well as cable and satellite subscribers. Approximately two-thirds of US households receive the SciFi Channel.
In a post dated 17 Feb 2001 on alt.tv.farscape, Diane K De provided some additional background for interpreting the US ratings shown on this page:
Cable networks have a habit of showing their ratings as a percentage of their coverage area. In Sci-fi's case that is about 68.3 million households this month [February 2001], but it changes every month as they grow, so as you look backward it is a smaller number. Because it grows every month, that means a 1.5 rating from last year is a different number of households than a 1.5 rating this year.
But, when the SciFiwire shows the ratings for broadcast networks and syndication, they show those as a percentage of the whole country, which is 102 million households. They don't properly explain in their footnote that they are doing this, but I've seen the ratings from other sources and that is what they do. If the SciFiwire showed Farscape's ratings on the national scale instead of their "coverage area" scale, you'd actually see more growth in viewing that you see now because in the last two years, Sci-Fi has picked up at least 10 million households in its coverage area. But the numbers would be smaller. Today, a 1.0 Sci-Fi coverage area rating would be shown as a 0.7 national rating. It's a .67 adjustment because they are in about two thirds of the country now.
Basically, when Farscape debuted it got a 1.3 coverage area rating that translated to a 0.7 national rating. Today, if it got a 1.3 coverage area rating, it translates to a 0.9 national rating because of growth in how many people can even get the SciFi Channel. Farscape also has more viewers than that because we are only talking about the rating of the first airing. The 2nd airing actually adds viewers on top of that and they never show the rating of both airings.
In a post dated 23 Oct 2001, Diane provided some updated household numbers:
It should be noted that as of October 1, 2001, Nielsen estimates that SciFi's penetration is 75 million homes. Last March when season 3 started, it was in 69 million homes. At the start of Season 2, it was only in 60 million homes.
Notes on UK Ratings:
Ratings for the UK are expressed as millions of households; they are tracked by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, aka "BARB".
Viewing estimates are obtained from panels of television owning households representing the viewing behaviour of the 23+ million households within the UK.
The ratings numbers used on this page reflect each episode's airing on BBC2, and were obtained from the BARB archive formerly available at http://www.produxion.com/. The UK ratings stop midway through the third season, when that archive ceased to be made available.
N.B. In some instances, it is not clear whether the UK rating includes only the original airing, or is a total of the original airing and a repeat showing during the same week.