Thursday, July 30, 2009

I (no longer) Have the POWERRRRR! .....

We have ended our stint as a Nielsen Media Research (television ratings) family this morning ..... now you know who to blame, next season, when the new television programming lineups are announced.

So, what might those line-ups include? Well, in entertainment, there would be lots of American cooking shows (Chopped, Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef America, Next Food Network Star), British science-fiction (Doctor Who, Primeval, and most-of-all Torchwood: Children of Earth), and classic movies from just about everywhere (especially on Turner Classic Movies).

In news, there would be a mixed offering, depending upon the time of day, and the ammount of time and attention we have to devote to watching the news. It could be CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News, or BBC World News America. Locally? Again a mix .... but mostly, KWES/NewsWest 9 and KOSA/CBS 7, offering a chance to keep up on local news, and see how old friends in the business are doing.

In sports, there was a lot of soccer (MLS, CONCACAF Gold Cup, and World Football Challenge) and a lot of cycling (Tour de France) ... actually, the only cycling we watch all year.

A lot of Fuel TV and Versus from one child, and a lot of Cartoon Network and Discovery Channel from the other. And also, a lot of the music channels on Suddenlink Cable.

Anyway, if you see a lot of that on television, next season, you'll know who to blame.

5 comments:

Geo said...

I'm sure you were honest, but it would seem to be easy to game the Nielsen system. I believe in the old days the subjects kept a diary, so it would have been easy to cheat. What do they do now? Do they hook a recorder between the input cable and the TV? If so, the testee could still cheat by moving the device to a seldom used TV and tuning in to C-Span.

Now the cable or satellite companies will know what subscribers watch and could use that info to sell ad time. So I wonder how much power Nielsen still has.

Jeff said...

George, we used the old-fashioned paper diaries. There are recording devices out there, in the major markets, which provide the 'overnight' numnbers. But for the quarterly 'books,' it's still the diaries.

As of a couple years ago, when I was still in the business, Nielsen still had a lot of clout, and exercised a genuine impact on the rates we could charge for ads. Nowadays? Maybe someone reading this - someone in the business now - could post a comment.

Geo said...

Looking at a recent top ten list -- see link below -- raises the question: Did people admit they actually watched that?

http://en-us.nielsen.com/rankings/insights/rankings/television

Jeff said...

Dang, George ... I don't think I watched a single 'winner.'

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