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Haven't they come up with anything better than "sweeps" yet? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


View Full Version : Haven't they come up with anything better than "sweeps" yet?

05-01-05, 11:58 AM
Sweeps has always struck me a silly for as long as I've been aware enough of TV to understand the concept (i.e. ever since way back in the 70s when I was a kid).

For a month every TV station is clamoring to get our attention by showing gimmicky specials or, *GASP* four all-new episodes of our favorite shows in a ROW! Meanwhile, shows that are working to build momentum and gain an audience, like ABC's "Eyes", are pulled and replaced by stupid gimmicky "news" specials that try to tell us we must watch or else we won't know how evil American Idol is, or how tap water can kill you or know what Tom Cruise had for breakfast that morning.

It's been like this forever, but why? With Tivo, digital cable and other technologies, isn't it possible now to get better viewer ratings and do it all year around and not have to resort to a couple months a year of this silliness?

05-01-05, 01:56 PM
Actually I think things like Tivo make it worse. Tivoed things don't count towards the ratings a show gets. And ratings during sweeps are used to set advertising rates. The networks can point to their numbers and show how many people are watching when the ad time they're selling can be seen and not just skipped over with things like Tivo and other recorders.

05-01-05, 01:57 PM
it seems stupid, and I've always wondered how there isn't a better system than the Nielson boxes. I guess they'll catch up to the 21st century some day.


05-01-05, 06:20 PM
Is it naive to think that MOST people watch TV on some sort of "time-shifting" device like Tivo or even a VCR and sweeps periods are all but obsolete?

I always sort of scratch my head when I hear network executives talking about their line-ups or their "Must See TV" crap as though EVERYTHING is being watched by EVERYONE in real time and VCRs and Tivos don't exist -- it's like a little slice of Bizarro World.

05-01-05, 10:45 PM
It's a very antiquated system, but I don't think anything will change unless everyone does it at once.

Meaning it will never change.

05-02-05, 12:31 AM
The number of people who time-shift is definitely growing, but overall, it still represents a small percentage of viewers. The concept of a TV lineup may eventually become obselete, but it's not yet. Just look at how much a show like House skyrocketed in the ratings once American Idol started, how Desperate Housewives helped launch Grey's Anatomy, or how having C.S.I. as a lead-in is helping Without A Trace overtake E.R.

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