"Secret Invasion" is the most recent Disney+ television series to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Events in the series are expected to lead up to a number of forthcoming Marvel projects. Including "The Marvels", set to open in theaters later this year.

Utilizing a massive budget by television standards, "Secret Invasion" has enlisted a big-name cast. Returning favorites include Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle. Newcomers to the franchise include Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman. Early reviews praised the show and its cast. And so it threw many for a loop when initial viewership numbers were released.

They seemed to fall well below expectations. But upon further review, those numbers might have been decidedly inaccurate.

Might have miscalculated viewers by several million

Nielsen Media Research has released its streaming tallies for the week that "Secret Invasion" made its debut. The firm puts the viewership number for the premiere episode at roughly nine million. Which in the realm of streaming, is a very good number to hope for. With some exceptions, of course. Such as the global Netflix phenomenon "Stranger Things", for which numbers have been gobsmacking.

The new numbers have the episode as one of the highest-rated of the week for original streaming series. In the top five, in fact, according to The Hollywood Reporter and TVLine.

A far cry from what had been initially reported. Which had listed views of the series around the same frame of time as being less than one million. Which some had thought to be near-disastrous given the buzz surrounding "Secret Invasion" going in. Instead, it looks more like it had one of the biggest debuts for a Marvel series to date.

The difference seems to be which firm is doing the research. It should be noted that no firm studying TV ratings is expected to be completely accurate. There isn't really a way at present for such companies to be so. But some are considered betting at getting a more representative snapshot of reality than others.

Nielsen vs. Samba TV

The initial, decidedly low, count was released by Samba TV. An analytics company that boasts its ability to deliver 'real-time' numbers. But it has drawn criticism for how it does its tracking. Samba essentially relies on metric directly derived from an incomplete amount of smart TVs. It does not track viewers who may receive their streaming via another device. A Fire TV Stick or video game console, for example. Even on the same sort of television. Not to mention that it completely misses viewers watching on computers, tablets or smart phones.

Nielsen, while not at all perfect, is thought to be the gold standard in the industry. It uses more all-encompassing methods of tracking viewer data.

It can also take longer to tally, hence the delay of the report.

Remains to be seen if the viewer count goes up or down

Several more episodes have been released of "Secret Invasion" since its first. Reports are still outstanding as to whether it retains its original numbers. There is also the question if some were waiting to watch until there were more episodes available. With some fans choosing to wait until they can 'binge' the season.

The wait comes as Marvel is possibly at a more vulnerable position than it's been in for many, many years. It has become a bit trendy as of late to pile on the world-famous brand and its projects. Perhaps a by-product of the cultural dominance it's had for such a sustained time.

Whether via its own studios via Disney. Or through its association with other companies, such as Sony.

Marvel is likely still reeling from "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania". The reception for which fell short, both commercially and critically, of what the company has been accustomed to. On the Disney+ side, reactions were also very mixed about its comedy series "She-Hulk".