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The thought crossed my mind yesterday as I DVRed 'How I Met Your Mother' last night. What if you DVR something and never watch it? Along the same line, what if you turn the TV on and some show is playing but you're not even in the room or paying attention to it; you are taking a shower or making dinner or taking a dump or having sex?
Ratings are very deceiving...
What is that, a Titleist? A hole in one...
there is a reason you get gay bar ads in the mail.
Aren't ratings estimates to begin with, not hard data? At least that is what I always thought.
Ratings are done through a select group of people in order to represent the population as a whole. The main one is Neilsen. Ever hear the term Neilsen family? Those are the ones where their tv viewing is monitored. They have meters and/or diaries.
They do take into account dvr and they have ratings for that (something like live + 1st day DVR viewing). So if someone DVR's a program and watches it within 1 day it will go into that rating.
As for your viewing habits, no one monitors them and if you DVR a program instead of watching it live it doesn't matter for ratings.
This post was edited by scott91575 23 months ago
On DVR front, I am pretty sure they know when you watch the show. They have different ratings. They have a DVR +3 rating which means you watched within 3 days, and DVR + 7 which means you watched within 7 days. They don't seem to put much emphasis on DVR ratings though because of the ability to skip through the commericals and ratings are all about advertising. The ratings system is very outdated and needs to be totally revamped the problem is the networks don't seem to know how to do this. A lot viewers seemed to be ignored including those who DVR, those who watch online and through mobile devices. One the things that confuses me is why the networks don't allow the show to viewed online immediately following the shows broadcast premiere this would eliminate the need for many people to have to DVR or to use other non-networks sites to watch the show.
This is exactly correct.
This. Ratings are based on Neilsen sending people a diary to fill out for a week and then extrapolating that data using statistical analysis. They are not monitoring everything everybody is watching. There is no "big brother" reporting what you're watching.
I was actually selected to be one of these sample households. Kept a diary that they give you for a week and got paid $50 as a thank you. They ask about what you watch on DVR and when in that diary so those figures are represented.
BTW, I can see how someone can manipulate these ratings to favor things they like. For instance, if you kind of like a show, but don't watch it regularly, you could write that you watched it that week even if you really didn't in an effort to boost the ratings.
"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - Mark Dantonio.
Yeah, there are two ways they monitor. Electronic monitoring which is year round and diairies that are sent out to see viewing for the week.
This is where the term "sweeps week" came from. It refers to the time Nielsen sends out their diaries for people to record their viewing for the week, and they stagger the diaries by location (essentially "sweeping" across the country, so technically it lasts about 1 month). The networks then use the data gained during this timeframe in order to set local advertising rates. So networks throw out all the major new shows and storylines during that time in order to increase ratings (local news would also do their special reports which would be heavily advertised). Although sweeps weeks is no longer as big of a deal as it used to be due to the proliferation of national cable networks that rely less on local advertising/pressures from local affiliates.
Correct. They have Live Only, Live +SD (Same Day), Live +3, and Live +7. So if advertisers are concerned, they can just buy off Live only ratings. This also allows analysis of how much of an impact DVR usage is having on a particular program.
However, I disagree with other parts of your post about revamping the ratings system. Not that there can't be a better system, but just with your reasoning. DVR watchers, online watchers, mobile watchers, etc. ARE irrelevant in this context and should be ignored. As you said, ratings are all about advertising. Realistically, no one really gives a crap how many people see a show. What matters is how many people see the ads. Besides, online watchers and mobile watchers are counted via the sites that they use to get the shows (Hulu, Xfinity, etc.), and those users have no choice but to watch the commercials (assuming they're watching via a legal website).
The sweeps aren't as big of a deal as it used to be because the top 40-50 or so markets (around 60-70% of the households in the country) have the people meters now, which means EVERY month is rated, not just February, May, July, and November as it used to be.
The diaries can't go away soon enough. Billions of dollars have been spent over the years based on something that has been shown to have a 15-20% margin of error.
I don't believe so.
I worked at Nieslen for 4 1/2 years. It's amazing what people were willing to tell us about thier viewing habits. We could monitor both by device usage and by diary in the smaller markets. We also know about your computer usage. Want to know how many black people without children had a wii and an Xbox and watched Three and a half men? We could tell you.
not sure how you disagree with me when basically saying what I am. I understand it is all about advertising the advertisers don't care about the shows only about how many people (18-35) see their advertisements. The Nielsen ratings are outdated. In this technological age a majority people have cable or satellite. If they can count people who watch it on dvr they could come up with a way to keep track of how many people are watching it on a satellite or cable box. My other issue is that say for instance you miss a show at 9pm that you really want to watch you have a few choices. You have a DVR and have it recorded, you are still using a VCR and you taped it or if you have neither option and look for it online on a non-network sponsored site. My thought process is you miss the season finale of Fringe at 9pm, Fox should have it online at 10:01 pm when the show is over. I believe people would go to Fox's site if they missed it rather than a non-network site. Then the advertisers would get to count those viewers who they normally lose to a non-network site. It would make most of those sites irrelevant. Advertisers need to come to reality that all forms of tech are just as important and not just live tv because those people see their ads as well. It is also likely those who watch the shows on tech devices probably have more expendable income then those who watch it live on the tv.
This post was edited by Truth1207 23 months ago
Huh. I guess you learn something new each day.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by scott91575 23 months ago
You like "How I met your mother" enough to DVR it... Someone needs to beat your ass.
Post as if your wife was sitting on my lap.
I love that show, I don't care who knows it. No homo. NTTAWWT
This post was edited by iCameron 23 months ago
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
Time zones shouldn't be an issue much like sites restrict viewing for those internationally, sites could restrict viewing on the west coast if they wanted to
I always assumed the cable and satellite companies know exactly what we are watching at all times from our digital boxes.
You said that it needs to be revamped, and then went on to talk about people that are ignored. If that was not part of your reasoning for saying that the system needs to be revamped, then I guess you weren't very clear (or I misunderstood). That's what I was disagreeing with. The fact that DVR users, online users, and mobile users are ignored by Nielsen isn't anything negative against Nielsen's methodology, or something that warrants changing.
When you're talking about non-network sites, I assume you're talking about illegal sites (or at least questionably legal), and not Hulu, Xfinity, etc. It's not like those non-network sites get shows up right away, do they? People have to transcode them, typically edit the commercials out (though maybe not always), and upload, which can all take a lot of time, especially for good quality. At best, they're on those sites by the next morning. Regardless, the number of people going to to those illegal sites is miniscule, and I think you're overestimating what Fox and other networks "lose" to those illegal sites.
I agree in theory that Fox or other networks should have it online as soon as it's over, but people pay a fraction of the cost for ads in the online streaming episodes. So I believe the networks do that in order to encourage people to watch it live. That's where the money is made, after all.
It has really drawn itself out, yes. But like The Office, I continue to watch for some odd reason. Maybe because I've gone this far.
These days I DVR just about everything except live sports. By the time I leave work, get to the gym, shower post- workout, it can be past 9 pm. DVR really is a godsend. Fast forwarding through commercials is also awesome because I don't give a shit about advertising.
I do tend to compare TV ratings to album sales: the system now is completely different than it was 10 years ago. Like people don't buy CDs, many people either watch TV programs on DVR or through a device other than a TV. More and more people are also getting rid of cable.
Thankfully, no. And you can bet if that was happening, you'd know about it because the ACLU would be throwing a fit.
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