Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Nielsen Corporation and Why They’re Important

Who are the Nielsen Corporation? What is a Nielsen family? How accurate are they? Why are they so important to how television works? Well, I might as well tell you about them. Without the Nielsen Corporation, we might have a very different way of doing television. Or, quite possibly, we wouldn’t have television at all.

Now when it comes to television, one thing stands out as more important than the rest: ratings. Well, it may not actually be the most important thing in television, but without it, nearly everything else falls apart. Now sometimes bad ratings don’t matter as much when a show airs. Typically though, the ratings are what people strive for and bad ratings will get a show cancelled.

How do they know what shows get what ratings? Well, that’s where the Neilson Corporation comes in. By using a process of getting select families to represent a portion of the viewing audience, they get the ratings that we use. These families, known as Neilson families, are fundamentally the viewers of television as they report what all they’ve seen.

There has, of course, been criticism of the Neilson Corporation. Among them, there is the belief that they might not be accurate with their reporting numbers. A good example of this is the show Jericho. After it was cancelled due to bad ratings, fan response brought it back. When it did come back, the ratings were still considered low. Why would fans bring back the show only for them not to watch it? This would help support the belief that their numbers are not as accurate as they should be.

You might be wondering how the ratings are determined by those who aren’t a Neilson family. Well, honestly, if you are not a Neilson family, it doesn’t matter if you watch a show or not. Your ratings only count if you are part of the Neilson family research or if you filled out a survey of theirs over what you watched recently. And if you wonder if online viewing counts for anything, it might, but it wouldn’t change the numbers enough. Of course, this is another criticism of the Neilson Corporation.

I’m not sure if there’s anything else that is important enough for me to mention in this blog post of mine. There are some parts about it that I don’t fully understand, like sweeps. I just know that they are important in certain parts of the year. But that’s all I can think of mentioning about the Neilson Corporation this time around.

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