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Viewing Single Post From: SOD: Swingtown

Jul 20 2008, 07:34 PM
Ratings certainly can't pinpoint which storyline or characters are popular or not popular. I would say that would be a balance of letters, e-mails, with a small percentage being message boards.
we have no indication of the letters and e-mails TPTB get, nor do we know who calls the comment lines. And, I'm still willing to wager those people are the same few fans who KNOW about these avenues, and not the majority of the viewers.
And, again, we as general viewers do NOT know what "THE FANS" like, so unless we work in the studio or at a magazine, we shouldn't be making that assumption.
I disagree about the ratings, but just so I understand your argument before I respond, you're saying that ratings cannot be an indicator of what's popular, but letters, emails and message boards can? You said that letters indicate what's popular, but that letters come mostly from online viewers, but then you said that unless I work at the studio, I can't know what fans want. So I'm wondering, how do people at the studio know what fans want? Or is that the letters and emails coming into play?

Ratings, if anything, show an average. And they certainly don't count people with VCRs, cable DVRs, and people who watch SoapNet.
Yes, they do. The ratings that we see each week are "Live + Same Day". This includes people who watch "live" (when the show is actually on) and those who record the show and watch it the same day. I believe there are also ratings released for "Live + __ days" that the show sees, to indicate who watches __ days after. (I think 3, 7 and 10 days.) Soapnet is not counted in the NBC ratings, but they have their own ratings, so NBC could certainly look and see how Days does on Soapnet as well.

And obviously, not everyone has a Neilson box.
Right. Nielsen has worked out a formula to cull a sample that represents the various demographics and viewing patterns. It's not perfect, but since virtually all shows and networks rely on it, there must be something to it.

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