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How do DVRs affect Neilsen ratings?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm reading that Neilsen somehow knows when shows are viewed on DVR, and can add that info to live viewership when doing their ratings. 45% of households now use a DVR, so it can move a so-so show into popularity. Question is how do they know what DVR users are viewing, and are RTV owners included?
post #2 of 8
I'm pretty sure "Neilson families" add watching a recorded show to their log just like a live show, so that's how it shows up. One problem is the ratings tend to only care about current viewers. If you watch a show more than a week out, I'm not sure if they care.

Tivo (and Replay ages ago) said they have the ability to sell the information, but IIRC those offers were ignored. I don't know if Tivo was ever able to get a deal to sell it. With all the service provider DVRs out there, the market is even more fragmented.

Robert
post #3 of 8
The cable and satellite companies do know which channel their boxes are tuned to,and whether they are on. And, they sell this info to companies like Nielsens. However, they don't know if someone's eyes are in front of them or if a RTV is recording the output of the box. I do have a newer box, out of the 4 in my home, and from time to time, it will require me to hit Enter to keep it on the channel I'm watching. My guess is that it verifies a human is in front of the screen at that time.

Rob
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlichtefeld View Post

I do have a newer box, out of the 4 in my home, and from time to time, it will require me to hit Enter to keep it on the channel I'm watching. My guess is that it verifies a human is in front of the screen at that time.
Rob

The only reason that should happen is if it's late at night and they are doing it as a measure to save power and (if it's a DVR) extend the life of the HDD, or if you are currently watching an SDV channel that has been tuned to for a long period of time with no interaction and they want the bandwidth back.
post #5 of 8
Neilson families keep logs. There was an article in today's paper on this very subject. The networks have completely changed the way they do things. The "overnights" are no longer studied like gospel because of the number of people that say, watch the football game and then watch "Amazing Race" later. Now they have to wait. The last batch of shows renewed: "Go On", "Ben and Kate", etc were extended based on mediocre overnight ratings but large numbers of DVR viewers. "Revolution" would be considered "good" in the old days, but is almost a blockbuster under the new think.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
So there's no technology involved, just a representative group of Neilsen families who keep logs of what they are viewing, whether live, on DVR, or maybe even on HTPC?

I did read that newspaper article, which is what got me wondering how it was done.
post #7 of 8
Cable companies also collect and sell the data of what the boxes tune.
post #8 of 8
I was part of the Nielsen family and everything is automated.

They hooked up their detectors inside my ReplayTV boxes, which I wasn't all too happy about, but in the end, they didn't break anything. But whenever you watch your TV, whether it is through a computer feed, DVR feed, or live TV, you are supposed to indicate through a remote who is watching. That way they get demographics on who is watching. They didn't tell us how they analyzed the data, though. We often watched shows which were very old because we had never gotten around to watching them yet. So in the end, they didn't care about what shows you recorded (because they cannot get demographics on who is recording) but they care about what you watch, whether recorded or not.
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