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How Are TV Ratings Determined

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Criticism Of Ratings Systems

How Do TV Ratings Work?

There is some public critique regarding accuracy and potential bias within Nielsen’s rating system, including some concerns that the Nielsen ratings system is rapidly becoming outdated because of new technology like smartphones, DVRs, tablet computers and Internet streaming services as preferred or alternative methods for television viewing. In June 2006, however, Nielsen announced a plan to revamp its entire methodology to include all types of media viewing in its sample.

Since viewers are aware of being part of the Nielsen sample, it can lead to response bias in recording and viewing habits. Audience counts gathered by the self-reporting diary methodology are sometimes higher than those gathered by the electronic meters, eliminating any response bias.

After Nielsen took over the contract for producing data on Irish advertising in 2009, agencies said that they were “disastrous” and claimed that the information produced by them is too inaccurate to be trusted by them or their clients.

In 2011, CBS and Nielsen proposed a model consisting of six viewer segments, which according to their empirical research, are more relevant for advertisers than older models based on gender and age. The segments are based on user behavior, motivations, and psychographics. It is argued that the model can increase reaching the desired audience and message recall and advertisement likeability.

How Are Radio Ratings Determined

There are radio ratings services, like Arbritron, and Nielsen. The company polls a certain number of radio listeners in a certain region. Then by statistical analysis, the ratings firm, extrapolate the results of the survey, and determine how many people in the region are listening to each individual radio station.

Ratings/share And Total Viewers

The most commonly cited Nielsen results are reported in two measurements: ratings points and share, usually reported as: “ratings points/share”. There were 119.6 million TV homes in the U.S. for the 2017â18 TV season . Nielsen re-estimates the number of television-equipped households each August for the upcoming television season.

The rating of a program is a fraction of the HUT. It is calculated as RTG = HUT x SHARE where HUT is Homes Using Television and SHARE is the percentage of TV sets in use which are tuned to a particular show.

Share is the percentage of television sets in use, Households Using Television or Persons Using Television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. For example, Nielsen may report a show as receiving a 4.4/8 during its broadcast this would mean that 4.4% of all television-equipped households , regardless of the TV being on or not, were tuned in to that program, while 8% of households that were watching TV at that time were watching the specific program.

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What Barb Doesnt Measure

As you might guess, viewing figures arent completely infallible. In particular, you probably wonder how BARB can measure big events such as the World Cup occasions that many people choose to watch down the pub and away from their special remote.

The simple answer: they dont. Any out of home viewing isnt recorded. However, this might not be as big a problem as it seems, with only 6% of people watching TV out of a house, according to BARB research.

Its actually a smaller proportion of people than you would think who view big events in pubs even for massive events like the World Cup, says Whelpdale.

But if all of a sudden we conduct a study and 20% of the population are watching shows in a pub or big screen elsewhere wed have to think seriously how wed include that in our measurement.

However, while you can rest easy about sports viewing figures, there is one area thats a problem for BARB: smaller cable channels. After all, in all likelihood, the sample of 5,300 simply wont represent the many niche interest groups found across the entire UK.

With big programmes and big channels were more accurate than if were looking at smaller channels and smaller programmes, admits Whelpdale.

Thats purely down to the size of the sample. Any sample-based study that is only done by a few people means you get more variability thats why if you look at viewing for a channel with a smaller viewership, youll see a lot of variability day by day.

How Do They Determine TV Ratings

Should Nielsen

4.1/5What TV Ratings Are:

  • The households are evenly distributed by population throughout the United States, and are roughly meant to be representative of the population as a whole.
  • When you see a rating that calls itself total viewers, it most certainly does not actually show you how many total viewers watched that show.

Calculation. PUT = x 100 Nielsen’s formula for PUT is the number of persons viewing TV divided by the total persons universe i.e. the television rating divided by the total share of television in a particular demographic area.

how many viewers is a 1.0 rating? Rating is the percentage of total TV households tuned into a program at a given time. So if a show has a 1.0 rating, it means that 1% of those 120.6 million households watched that program.

Also question is, how can they tell how many viewers watched a show?

Every time someone in a Nielsen household turns on a television, he or she indicates which person it is and the box tracks how long the person watches a show. Each member of a household has his or her viewing habits recorded individually, through indicating who is watching the television at any given time.

How are Nielsen ratings collected?

Measuring ratings. The original data collection methods used to generate Nielsen TV ratings included: Paper “viewer diaries”, in which a household recruited by the company self-recorded its viewing or listening habits.

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How The TV Ratings Panel Is Put Together

Selection of homes to take part in OzTAM ratings is the result of a survey of thousands of homes across Australia each year. Any home can be selected and interviewed, and from those results a pool of 5,250 homes is chosen in the five largest cities. A separate pool of homes is chosen for regional ratings while for subscription TV ratings, 2,120 homes are chosen from both the metropolitan and regional pools.

The exact requirements for being accepted as a ratings household are kept secret and change from year to year to make sure the results represent a true sample of the Australian TV viewing audience, across many different age groups and economic backgrounds.

Those chosen to be on the OzTAM panel can stay for up to four years though they can leave at any time if they no longer want to take part in the survey.

How We Measure Broadcasters Audiences

Founded by the major players in the UK television and advertising industry, BARB is responsible for delivering the UKs television audience ratings. Since our formation in 1981, broadcasters, agencies and advertisers have collaborated in the governance of BARB as we fulfil three important purposes.

  • Our viewing figures support decisions that are made in the making and distribution of television programmes.
  • Our data inform the ongoing conversation about how broadcasters operate in the public interest and in accordance with prevailing legislation.
  • Advertisers, agencies and broadcasters use our data to support the planning and buying of advertising campaigns, and to assess the brand and sales outcomes of these campaigns.

BARBs research focuses on the following questions: Who is watching and who are they watching with? What are they watching? When are they watching? Which screen are they watching on? How did the content get to the screen?

BARB has two sources of data:

  • People-based data: the BARB panel.
  • Device-based census data for online TV viewing.
  • To find out more about how we collect data from these sources, please select the relevant boxes below.

    To find out how we deliver the collected data to the industry, please select the data delivery box below.

    Dovetail Fusion combines our two sources of data in order to deliver total reach of programme audiences across multiple screens. To find out more, please select the Dovetail Fusion box below.

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    Where Do Radio Ratings Come From

    Most people think that their listening habits determine which radio stations are the most popular. Theyre partially correct.

    The real ears of audience measurement in 48 U.S. markets including its largest cities is this black, pager-like device called a Portable People Meter or PPM.

    It listens for hidden audio streams embedded in radio station signals that tell Nielsen Audio what youre listening to or at least what youre in range of hearing.

    Millions of data points are collected and then weighted to accurately represent both genders and all age ranges in any given radio market. The system isnt perfect, but its universally accepted as the standard by which we ascribe listenership credit. Its also accepted as being more accurate and reliable than the old way of asking people to remember and write down what radio stations they listened to over the course of the week.

    PPMs make it far less likely that a fan of particular radio station will exaggerate his or her listening patterns to benefit their favorite station. And while PPM is regarded as an improvement on the old diary system, it does have its own unique glitches, such as reporting that baseball fan listened to a three-hour sports broadcast at the ballpark, just because they sat next to someone listening to the game on their cell phone.

    How To Read The TV Ratings Reports

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    Armed with the terms above, interpreting the ratings data is pretty simple. OzTAM can dig deep into their data to reveal information like the exact times of day the numbers cover, whether shows were repeats or first-run episodes, and even drilling down into the hard data that advertisers want to know, such as the viewing habits of the households main grocery buyer

    The numbers youll see on these pages will give you a more general overview of what rated well overnight, as well as a longer-term look at how shows did when 7-day and 28 day playback numbers come in. For many shows, its that delayed playback that can make all the difference, with some shows more than others tending to be watched later from recordings rather than live as they air.

    • Australian TV Ratings Reports

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    How Do TV Stations Know Youre Watching

    The Nielsen Company Nielsen Company uses in-home devices to track the viewing habits of thousands of people daily. The Nielsen Company tracks what shows viewers watch on television networks through a representative sampling of about 25,000 households that let the company record what programs they watch.

    Broadcaster Video On Demand

    In addition to broadcast TV viewing, Australians today are embracing new technologies and new ways to watch their favourite TV shows. OzTAM is now able to capture BVOD via the Video Player Measurement service .

    The VPM service captures minute-by-minute data on participating broadcasters online TV content played on-demand or live-streamed to connected devices such as tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, laptops and games consoles.

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    What Happens When You Join The Barb Panel

    Imagine for a second youre approached by BARB to become a member of their sample. Firstly, congratulations! Seeing as you cant actually apply to be on the panel, your odds of getting selected were incredibly low .

    And it turns out joining is a pretty sweet deal: you can drop out at any time and, although you wont get paid per se, you can earn gift vouchers for various high street outlets. And, of course, saying yes means that your viewing habits really matter youll actively become part of the TV process. So, naturally, you accept the offer.

    Now, the first rule of joining the BARB panel? You do NOT talk about the BARB panel. As your viewing now represents 5,000 peoples viewing, its important broadcasters cant directly target you in any way.

    In fact, publicly air that youre a member of the panel just like some have done on Twitter over the years and youll get kicked off.

    have ruined their ratings. Being part of the TV Panel where my partner and I count towards the viewing figures, channel 5 have lost us as viewers seeing as they killed off in a TERRIBLE way. So please someone take it over. #SaveBBUK


    Above: how one BARB panel member lost their place.

    Next thing you should know: after joining, BARB will install a small monitoring box not just to the main TV in your lounge, but to every other viewing device around your house .

    If that home is constantly doing what they shouldnt be then theyll be removed from the panel.

    What Is The Tam Panel And Why Do We Need It

    Eric Bischoff On The Importance Of TV Ratings, How Ratings ...

    The system works via a combination of in-home monitoring of TV set use via electronic meters, together with an Establishment Survey to ensure that the homes being monitored are representative of Irish TV viewing as a whole.

    Behaviour and Attitudes conduct the ES on behalf of TAM Ireland/Nielsen. A total of 9,350 households per annum are interviewed about their TV Set and device ownership, reception type, broadband access, along with household make-up, this survey provides us with the TV landscape upon which to base our panel. The ES also provides the data to create the TV Universes as well as being the source for panel recruitment.

    -In-home monitoring is done via the Panel. It is made up of 1,090 homes . There is a meter attached to every TV set in these homes and all sources connected Virgin/Sky boxes, games consoles, PVRs, DVRs etc. The meter identifies both channels being watched and the devices used to view.

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    About The Oztam Ratings System

    Working out the viewer numbers for Australian free to air and subscription TV channels is a complex task made much more accurate by advances in technology. Today the OzTAM ratings, an acronym for Australian Television Audience Measurement , measures actual television viewing in 5,250 homes all around Australia, with an additional 2,120 homes being monitored for their viewing of subscription TV such as broadcast giant Foxtel. While it might seem like a small number of homes to monitor compared to the size of the Australian population, statistically its more than efficient to get an accurate picture of whos watching what and when. Compared to other countries TV ratings data, OzTAM uses one of the largest number of households in the world compared to the total population size, making it incredibly accurate. This is across both Subscription TV and free to air.

    More about the Ratings System:

    Data Collection Through TV Box

    When someone in Nielson-recorded household switches on the TV, that person reveals his/her identity while the box keeps a tab on the time period of viewing a specific program. Every family members viewing pattern is monitored on an individual basis at the given time. In case a group of people is watching a show, each of them inputs his/her related data into the box. This way, the viewer-specific information is collected by Nielsens box compared to the general data gathered by a typical cable TV one.

    This in-house equipment lets the Nielsen Company evaluate TV viewership for every single day.

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    The Full Explanation About The Difference Between TV Ratings And Website Traffic

    TV is dying, right? I mean, thats the conventional wisdom now. People are watching Netflix, or videos on YouTube, or Vines.

    But heres the truth. Way more people watch TV than you think. And the problem is the antiquated, incomplete method for counting those viewers, versus the hyper-accurate way website traffic is calculated. Dont buy the convoluted hype that websites like Buzzfeed or Vice are reaching more people than TV. Theres a reason why they want to geton traditional TV.

    The key to understanding this is knowing what Nielsen ratings really tell us, and what they dont. So to explain, lets break it down into what ratings are and what they arent.

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    How Does TV Ratings Work?

    In any event, a VAB audit would take months to complete, finishing well after the upcoming TV upfront negotiations for the 2021-22 TV season which starts in May. Typically, the TV upfront generates $20 billion worth of advertising time that is sold by broadcast and cable networks.

    Over the past year, the primetime ratings for broadcast television have dropped precipitously. For example, during the week of April 5, 2021, the average primetime audience for ABC, CBS VIAC , NBC and Fox were down by 16% compared to the identical week in 2020. The week had included the NCAA Mens Basketball Championship game which was cancelled in 2020. The game had averaged 19.6 million viewers in 2019.

    The ratings decline of broadcast TV has been ongoing since the emergence of cable TV in the 1980s. With the growth of streaming video in the past few years, the ratings of broadcast and now cable TV have been falling. In addition, with the pandemic shutting down production studios, TV networks were unable to schedule as many original scripted programs which typically drive ratings.

    In the past TV networks have blamed Nielsen for their ratings losses. For example, the networks have expressed concerns about underreporting the hard to recruit ethnic and younger age groups. In the fall of 2003, ratings and TV usage for Men 18-to-34 declined notably, the broadcast networks took issue with Nielsen. As a result, Nielsen issued a 43-page rebuttal defending the methodology used for TV ratings.

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