I don't mind analytics in general, but don't assume that they will help rescue your favorite show by proving that there is a big following. Managers will just slice and dice the analytics until it "proves" that the show doesn't have a big enough viewership to continue.
Even worse, it doesn't matter if 10,000,000 watch a show.
The Neilson numbers come in several forms. The ones you see daily are called "Live and Same Day" (L+SD), which counts views that watched the show live and within 24 hours of airing. Other numbers you can easily find are Live+3 days (L+3) and Live+7 (L+7).
But none of those numbers are actually used by anyone. That's why Neilson gives them out for free. No one's paying for that information, nor will they ever. And that's not where they make their money.
The real money is in the C3 number, or if you're CBS, you convinced advertisers to take C7 numbers. What are these? They're commercial ratings (for programming watched live to 3 days later). Basically you take the L3/L7 numbers, strip out the numbers while the program is showing, and you're left with just the numbers related to the advertising. And that's the number that makes Neilson money and the number stations pay money for. And yes, you skip ads on your DVR, which pull down those C3 numbers because it lowers the viewers for the advertising.
And that's because the largest source of income is advertising. Sure they get some through cable fees and Hulu and iTunes/Amazon/DVD etc. sales, but that's a tiny fraction of advertising.
CBS managed this season to convince advertisers to pay the C7 rate rather than C3, because well, it more accurately reflects today's lifestyle of people who record a show and watch it later in the week.
And that's all that matters. It doesn't matter if you can find 100,000,000 people to watch a show - if it's not reflected in those 100,000,000 people watching the ads.
It also brings up cord cutters who prefer to download their TV programming from torrents and such - as far as the industry is concerned, they don't care because those people don't add to advertising ratings.
Even under the new system - the new system just means that Neilson can more accurately measure their ratings, but if you're not watching the ads, it means jack squat to the producers.
So that super popular show people pirate? Guess what, the TV industry really doesn't care - you never were a "customer" and it doesn't matter if only 1M people watched it on TV while 100M people watched it off torrents - if those 1M people can't justify the ad rates and production costs, it's getting canned. The 100M other people? Too f'in bad - if it was that good, they should've watched it with ads.
If you ever wondered why worrying over TV piracy has subsided, that's one reason (who cares about pirates - they obviously don't care about their TV show), the other is they've found legal streaming to be even better. Because if they put a stream online to watch programming, they can make it such that you can't skip ads, and that's actually worth something - enough to pay for the effort of putting an online stream up. So you beat both DVR owners and appear as a hero for making a legal source available.
Bonus material - 2014-2015 TV season ad rates (30 second spot). This is what brings in the money.