Monday, December 12

I Hate Nielsen Ratings

Let's face it, television ratings are garbage.

If you're not familiar with how Nielsen ratings work, here's a summary: Small devices, "Set Meters" are attached to TVs in "selected homes." So basically, some people have little boxes that track what is being watched on one TV in their house.

Want to know how selective that "selective homes" really is? Fortunately for you, curious reader, wikipedia has some answers. As of 2009of the 114,500,000 U.S. television households only 25,000 total American households participated in the Nielsen daily metered system. Need a percentage? 0.02183% 

Let's round off that percentage: 0.02% of American homes are actually being tracked for these ratings.

So procedural crimes dramas and laugh track filled comedies play great to the tiny smattering of people whose opinions matter for no reason other than luck, and I'm supposed to think that's reasonable? 

It's bullshit. I want to break into every house with a set meter and break those lying sacks of trash into tiny pieces, so that quality television won't live and die by the 0.02%

And by the way, if you have a goddamn set meter, watch Parks and Rec and Community, ok? And probably don't tell me about your set meter, or I'm going to sneak into your living room and steal it. 

-av, "No Cancellation Without Representation"

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  1. For real. It can not be hard to find out what everyone is watching or to have the cable companies track it, I bet they already do. I cant believe that ad agencies aren't the biggest neilsen hatred of all because with a vleare picture of who's watching what they'd be able to sell ads to a more exact demographic which I feel like is what every ad on Facebook and google is.

  2. While the sample size is small, nobody is willing to pay for a larger sample. The current ratings are an extremely accurate measure of the viewing sample. Cable companies can provide tuning information for their set top boxes. However, that information does not include demographics and also inflates viewing for situations when the set top box is on but the tv is off.

  3. We all like to think that we are immune to advertizing and advertizers are wasting their money. However if you stop and think how many adverts may have influenced your behavior, you will be surprized how often your behavior gets modified undr the influence of advertizing. I prefer to watch recorded shows on my DVR to be able to expressly bypass the commercials. But you cannot buypass thje hundreds of other stimuli your are bombarded with daily. The radio, billboards and URLs displayed everywhere.