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View Diary: Don't Believe The Hype About Fox News Ratings (44 comments)

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  •  There are numerous, documented problems... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingOneEye, blueyedace2, Fury, Jeff Y

    ...with Nielsen ratings, including serial undersampling of minorities, which News Corp (of all people) successfully sued Nielsen over in 2004.  But the notion that Nielsen ratings are being intentionally and fraudulently cheated strikes me as being rather far-fetched.

    Ad sales for television is a multi-billion dollar a year business.  The incentives of everyone involved is for the ratings to be as accurate as possible while remaining as stable as possible.  

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:37:27 PM PDT

    •  That lawsuit over minority sampling... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2, Jeff Y

      ...was pursued by Fox only because, at the time, many of their shows had large minority audiences.

      And I would quibble a little with this:

      The incentives of everyone involved is for the ratings to be as accurate as possible while remaining as stable as possible.

      It's mostly the stability they are interest in. They couldn't care less about accuracy. I have seen alternative survey groups offer far more accurate services to compete with Nielsen. But the business wouldn't support them because, in one way or another, it changed what they were familiar with.

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      by KingOneEye on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:48:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they care quite a bit about accuracy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueyedace2

        I've spent a lot of my career in television, and those ratings mean a great deal.  Our jobs depend on them.

        Stability is important, because having too much volatility in ad revenue is in no one's interest.  But at the same time, networks want to air shows which are genuinely popular and advertisers want to spend their budgets in ways which are genuinely effective.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:53:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also worked in TV for many years... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, blueyedace2

          ...specifically media research, so I was dealing directly with Nielsen and other data providers.

          The only thing Nielsen clients cared about was their own interests. If a new product or provider came along that was less accurate, but showed higher numbers for a particular syndicator, that syndicator would still want the new, less accurate product.

          That's one of the reasons Nielsen's clients have stayed with them for so long despite their inaccuracies.

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          by KingOneEye on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 05:06:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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