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Nielsen to Begin Measuring DVR TV Viewing

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Nielsen to Begin Measuring DVR TV Viewing

Old 12-19-05, 02:14 PM
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Nielsen to Begin Measuring DVR TV Viewing

It's about time.

"But since people with DVRs tend to watch more television than people without them, the data also may help smaller, cult favorites. Tests revealed that the WB's "Smallville," for example, was watched at double the rate in DVR homes than in homes without the device."

I bet it's the same for Arrested Development!
Old 12-19-05, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by uteotw
It's about time.

"But since people with DVRs tend to watch more television than people without them, the data also may help smaller, cult favorites. Tests revealed that the WB's "Smallville," for example, was watched at double the rate in DVR homes than in homes without the device."

I bet it's the same for Arrested Development!
I wouldn't be that shocked to find that AD is viewed at like 4 times the rate in DVR homes.
Old 12-19-05, 02:21 PM
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I can see it now.

AD becomes an overnight Top 10 show. Unfortunately, Fox canceled it the day before. Details to be posted soon....
Old 12-19-05, 02:28 PM
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At first, I thought this meant that people with DVRs would have their info automatically included in Nielsen ratings.

Not so.

Now, people with DVRs will be able to be Nielsen families, from what I gather.

Until now, Nielsen has bypassed these DVR homes when it signs up the estimated 9,000 families that make up its national sample of homes. These so-called Nielsen families provide the basis for its ratings, which make a show a hit or flop.

DVR homes will be included starting Dec. 26, said Karen Gyimesi, company spokeswoman.

It has taken this long partly because the Nielsen "people meters" that record what families are watching weren't equipped to handle DVRs, she said.
Old 12-19-05, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
I can see it now.
AD becomes an overnight Top 10 show. Unfortunately, Fox canceled it the day before. Details to be posted soon....


With all the repeat viewings we give it, it will topple all 3 CSIs and L&Os combined.
Old 12-19-05, 03:31 PM
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Nielsen isn't about to make themselves irrelevant (which they pretty much are) by allowing all DVR users to report all their data. Nielsen doesn't care about accurate results, just keeping their money coming in.
Old 12-19-05, 03:40 PM
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If Nielsen was taken down, I fear that WWE or something would be reported as the most watched show.
Old 12-19-05, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Morf
At first, I thought this meant that people with DVRs would have their info automatically included in Nielsen ratings.

Not so.

Now, people with DVRs will be able to be Nielsen families, from what I gather.
Whoa. I always thought that Nielsen justified their ridiculously small sample due to the fact that it was a random sample of allhouseholds and therefore, statistically accurate.

But if they were previously weeding out DVR users how on earth is that an accurate sample of all TV viewers? No wonder the ratings always favored lowest common demoninator shows if they were excluding the people that care about TV the most from the sample. It seems like before they were only sampling more casual TV viewers if they were excluding the TV geeks who likely have DVRs. It explains a lot about the high ratings for really craptastic shows lately.
Old 12-19-05, 04:16 PM
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Wow. I didn't know they DID exclude DVR households. This could have as big an impact as when the music industry switched to SoundScan.

Maybe now a FOX serialized drama will actually air to conclusion, or we'll be spared 'Skating With Celebrities Without Makeup II'.
Old 12-19-05, 05:47 PM
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That's pretty interesting news, actively dissuading DVR homes?!?! Didn't have the technology my foot, all they had to do was hire the people that figure out how to get episodes of shows on the net half an hour after they air.

Can you apply to be a Nielson family now?

And Jadzia, we might have met in a similar thread in the past, but I have to say this, statistical sampling has always struck me as the bastard stepchild of math. Geometry, physics, calculus, even if dealing in theoreticals, they still followed their own rules, but I can never get past the idea that statistical sampling is pretty much "guessing". Once I figured that out, I stopped giving Nielson ratings any creedence whatsoever.
Old 12-19-05, 08:40 PM
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I always thought Nielson favored dumb shows because you would have to be kind of stupid to be a volunteer Neilson house. If some one asked you if they could come in, wire up your house, keep a running database on your likes and dislikes, and then call you up at random to see if you are actually watching the TV, all of this for free, would you do it? You would have to be kind of dumb to agree with that? I know I wouldn't do it. Unless you are a super fan and want to make sure you shows are well represented, what is the benefit to you?
Old 12-19-05, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mayfieldbrian
I always thought Nielson favored dumb shows because you would have to be kind of stupid to be a volunteer Neilson house. If some one asked you if they could come in, wire up your house, keep a running database on your likes and dislikes, and then call you up at random to see if you are actually watching the TV, all of this for free, would you do it? You would have to be kind of dumb to agree with that? I know I wouldn't do it. Unless you are a super fan and want to make sure you shows are well represented, what is the benefit to you?
I would want to be paid at least $21.50 per TV show and $5.50 per commercial, if they wanted me to view them, to be a member. Or no payment for commercials if they paid my DirecTV bill. Other than that... no deal!
Old 12-19-05, 11:32 PM
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I wouldn't think advertisers would care what DVR owners are watching. After all, those with DVRs skip the commercials anyway.
Old 12-20-05, 07:17 AM
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It seems to make sense as far as Arrested Development, as it is a show featuring a more intelligent sense of humor (of course I consider most comedies that dont resort to the insulting use of a laugh track to be so), that it possibly be shortchanged ratings-wise by having excluded DVr viewing up to this point... DVR viewers are more savvy IMO, and more likely to "get" shows like AD and Curb your enthusiasm
Old 12-20-05, 10:16 AM
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The previous story misses a more important decision by Nielsen.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...?track=tothtml

December 20, 2005

Nielsen Bows to Latino Viewers
The ratings firm will include Univision's Spanish-language shows on its main survey.


By Meg James, Times Staff Writer


Nielsen Media Research will include in its national ratings shows aired by Univision Communications Inc. starting next week, a move that is expected to better measure the nation's growing Latino audience.

Nielsen has long been criticized for failing to provide a complete picture of television viewership by using a system that excludes the preferences of millions of Spanish-speaking Latinos when it calculates the size of TV audiences and the most popular shows.

Executives at Los Angeles-based Univision, controlled by billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio, anticipate that next week's change will eventually translate into tens of millions of dollars in additional ad sales. Last year, the company took in nearly $1.3 billion in TV revenue.

"Univision will finally be measured alongside its main competitors, the major English-language broadcast networks," Ray Rodriguez, Univision's president and chief operating officer, said Monday.

Since 1992, Nielsen has estimated the audiences for Spanish-language shows through a separate audience panel, releasing those numbers with little fanfare. In Nielsen's National Hispanic Television index, Univision typically delivers most of the top 20 Spanish-language shows.

Those separate ratings have led some advertisers to overlook Univision when deciding how to divvy up their dollars among the different media outlets, ad buyers say. For example, the computer program that helps most media planners come up with their budgets for ad time doesn't even include shows on Spanish-language networks. Rival Telemundo, owned by NBC Universal, also is expected to join the service.

"The fact that the research has been segregated has been an excuse for some general market advertisers to focus only on the general market networks," said Monica Gadsby, chief executive of Tapestry, a specialty unit of media buying giant Starcom MediaVest Group. "But it shouldn't be thought of that way any longer. Spanish-language media is part of the new general market."

If audiences for prime-time shows broadcast by Univision had been measured along with its English-language rivals, Univision often would be the fifth-most popular network among viewers under age 50, behind CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox Broadcasting. Among the 18-to-34-year-old crowd, Univision frequently would finish second, behind Fox.

Nielsen's new policy is more than a decade in coming. In the late 1980s, Nielsen wasn't sure how to measure the nascent Spanish-language TV industry, and the broadcast networks were unwilling to change the system under which they had long prospered.

So Spanish-language networks, including Univision and Telemundo, agreed to pay for a separate service. But as the U.S. Latino population swelled to more than 40 million, the Spanish-language networks and media planning groups complained that Nielsen's segregated system was hopelessly out of date, resulting in the latest change.

"For the first time, a Spanish-language television network will be included in the national sample," said Sara Erichson, Nielsen's general manager of national services.

Nielsen's move comes five months before one of the most popular events in Spanish-language broadcasting, soccer's World Cup. Univision has the Spanish-language broadcast rights to the games in the U.S. and is expecting a big audience.

During the last World Cup, in 2002, Nielsen's method for calculating Univision's audience excluded as many as 15 million viewers, Rodriguez said. That's because the system Nielsen used recognized Latino homes only if the "head of household" was a Latino, not if other family members were.

The change is one of two that Nielsen is making next week to better measure TV viewing habits. It also will begin Monday to measure shows watched by consumers who have digital video recorders such as TiVo.

Nielsen spent the last 18 months, and more than $10 million, to modify its equipment so it could work with more sophisticated electronics and recruit new members to the panel who have DVRs. Nielsen estimates that about 7% of the 110 million homes in the U.S. with televisions are equipped with DVRs. That percentage is expected to rise to about a quarter of all homes with televisions within two years.

Nielsen plans to release three batches of figures daily, including the "overnight" numbers that will include the number of homes and viewers who watched a prime-time show at the time it was broadcast, a second batch that includes the size of the audience that watched a show live along with those who watched it in the play-back mode, and lastly, a week's worth of data on shows that people watched after they recorded them.

"Our job is to make sure that we can keep up with measuring their content as it moves to an increasingly diverse array of platforms," Erichson said. "There will certainly be an impact on viewing patterns as more people begin to watch television differently."


I cannot believe that this was how they were measuring the Latino audience all these years. Talk about being a second rate company and Nielsen takes the cake.

To me this is more important at this time, than the measuring of Tivo's audience, which pales in comparison to the Latino audience.

This reminds me of a couple of years ago when Arbitron started properly measuring the LA Radio Latino audience. Many of the Latino stations shot to the top of the ratings, where they have consistently stayed.

Chris
Old 12-20-05, 11:07 AM
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I dont think I have watched 1 episode of AD this season at the 8pm air time. Im always out on monday nights, so i use my DVR to record it. Not to mention, I would record smallville because of survivor. I always thought shows that where recorded with dvr where on the nielson ratings. Not like it will matter for my home because they are not keeping track of what I watch but none the less im sure there are more people like me...I would have to assume the people with dvr are watching some better shows and recording more shows.
Old 12-20-05, 11:17 AM
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I'm curious to see the size of the ratings for the primetime "telenovelas" in Univision compared to primetime shows at CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, UPN and WB.
Old 12-20-05, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mayfieldbrian
I always thought Nielson favored dumb shows because you would have to be kind of stupid to be a volunteer Neilson house. If some one asked you if they could come in, wire up your house, keep a running database on your likes and dislikes, and then call you up at random to see if you are actually watching the TV, all of this for free, would you do it? You would have to be kind of dumb to agree with that? I know I wouldn't do it. Unless you are a super fan and want to make sure you shows are well represented, what is the benefit to you?
Yes. It is called Tivo. There are millions of people that PAY for that service. Tivo tracks all that info on what people record already. I wouldn't call them dumb. I'm sure the cable companies aren't far behind. Nielsen could just purchase the info from them and have their data today. Instead they want specific family types, ages and such and be able to manipulate the data. Maybe not in extreme ways, but it would probably be no different than the spanish article above. Using the data to advantages.

*edit- count me as one that doesn't watch AD when it airs either. That is the time I am getting the little one ready for bed.
Old 12-20-05, 11:23 AM
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It's about time! Mondays are so busy my DVR is always on. AD, 2.5 Men, Prison Break (when it was on), CSI, and sometimes Out of Practice. I'm glad the Comcast box has dual tuners!

I agree with Mr. Corvin, I'm sure they could get the data easily from Tivo, Comcast, and any other company that uses DVRs.
Old 12-20-05, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by LorenzoL
I'm curious to see the size of the ratings for the primetime "telenovelas" in Univision compared to primetime shows at CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, UPN and WB.
I think people are going to be shocked when they see the figures, just like the Arbitron Radio ratings here in LA.

Chris
Old 12-20-05, 11:52 AM
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I remember reading in EW or something that some of UPN's comedies were way up in the ratings this year. One of the reasons they attributed was that Nielsen had been under-sampling black women, and they added more black women to their sample this year which caused the massive jump in ratings for these shows.

It really does point out how flawed the Nielsens are. Just by altering the demographics of a few of the sample participants can have a huge impact on the ratings for certain shows.
Old 12-20-05, 01:59 PM
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It would be more representative of total viewers if they could come up with a way to actually collect all data of what everyone watches. Since TVs pick up broadcasters' signals for their shows by antenna, cable, satallite, etc., wouldn't there be a way to show how many people picked up a signal for so-and-so show, thus giving an accurate rating?
Old 12-20-05, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gatoinfeliz
It would be more representative of total viewers if they could come up with a way to actually collect all data of what everyone watches. Since TVs pick up broadcasters' signals for their shows by antenna, cable, satallite, etc., wouldn't there be a way to show how many people picked up a signal for so-and-so show, thus giving an accurate rating?
???

Yes, it would be more representative, but how would you determine who receives a signal, other than by monitoring their tuner? It's near impossible.

Wonder how useful the information would be from torrents? At the very least, they could see the relative ratios of different TV shows dl'd. Of course, that doesn't help the main point of ratings, I.e. advertisers.
Old 12-20-05, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ShallowHal
I'm sure they could get the data easily from Tivo, Comcast, and any other company that uses DVRs.
They couldn't get information about what shows a person watches live; only what they record.
Old 12-20-05, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
They couldn't get information about what shows a person watches live; only what they record.
Not being argumentitive, actually curious... Why couldn't they?

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