Posted by: governmentdistrust | October 26, 2015

Nielsen Ratings Still Calling the Shots 65 Years Later

This week’s chapter “The Value of Media Engagement” sheds a gigantic spotlight on a glaring problem that’s faced TV media for years. How do networks accurately determine what TV shows are worthy of air time and which ones are wasting time and money? Despite all of the advances in TV, the development of the internet, and the plethora of multimedia that is available today, the networks continue to use a system that was invented 65 years ago. The Nielsen rating method started in 1950 and is still used today.

The problem with old technology is that it is not compatible with new technology so therefor it does not recognize it. This is also the case where many of the viewers are not counted towards the total viewing audience. In an age where many people are boycotting cable and watching their shows online, this is a problem. “One major issue that has arisen for ratings systems is the increased popularity of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) that let people record shows and watch them later, called “time-shifted viewing.” The Nielsen ratings do take these viewers into consideration, but they cannot track exactly what shows are watched at what time, only that viewers recorded them and likely watched them within about three days.” (Wisegeek)

Are Nielsen ratings the last bit of leverage the cable companies have on viewers? Are the Nielsen Ratings bias towards younger people who watch their shows online?

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