With "Sharknado" and a tight battle between NBC and CBS, the week's Nielsen ratings illustrate how that traditional measurement is becoming less of a clear picture of how people are consuming television.
The Nielsen company says last week's debut of the campy "Sharknado 2: The Second One" sequel averaged 3.87 million viewers on the SyFy network. But that was only a fraction of its audience. The movie aired four times with a total of 9.5 million viewers.
NBC also narrowly beat CBS to win the week's ratings battle. But its top shows were "America's Got Talent" and an exhibition football game. When time shifting is taken into account, CBS is likely to outpace NBC.