Does One Viewer Matter
June 9, 2009 by admncc
This type of post is a first for The Constant Complainer. Rather than my own post or a Guest Post, Leo Nevoli and I worked together on this one. I’d also like to thank Jennifer Juniper from Hope Studios for suggesting this article as a topic.
I’ve often wondered if having a Nielson ratings box on my TV would make me feel better – like I was making a difference and letting the networks know what I watch. According to NBC, you better believe it makes a difference.
NBC is struggling – we all know that. They are last in the ratings race. So who do they decide to pick on? Some Pittsburgh Penguins hockey fans who wanted to gather to see their team play in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Interestingly, this fight was a rematch. Last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins offered fans an opportunity to watch any home game on a large screen located outside of the arena gates. For any away game during the finals, when the Penguins played the Detroit Red Wings, the team arranged for the games to be viewed by anyone on the arena’s scoreboard. All you had to do was buy a $5 ticket for the game. But this $5 was not an admission fee; it was a donation to the Mario Lemieux Foundation – a cancer research organization. The turn out was overwhelming. Games at Mellon Arena would have 17,132 people inside, and an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people outside. The games hosted inside the arena averaged about 4,000 people.
However, NBC didn’t succeed until this year in preventing the public viewings. Currently, any game they broadcast is not being shown outside on the big screen for the fans. However, games that were broadcast by Verses were available on the big screen. The game Verses broadcast on June 4, 2009, at Mellon Arena, had 17, 132 people inside the arena, and an estimated 17,000 outside of the arena watching the game.
According to NBC, they did not want these public viewing to take place because anyone attending these games, that had a ratings box on their TV, would not be counted.
We dispute their theory. Research suggests that approximately 5,000 homes have the Nielson box. But there are approximately 113 million TV sets in people’s homes. Based on that, we can speculate that there is a very small amount of Penguins fans that have a box. Maybe only one or two people attending a public viewing have one of those boxes.
The funny thing is that the people outside of the arena have no place to go, nor can they change the channel during the game’s commercial breaks. They have to watch whatever is on TV. Isn’t that what NBC wants? Wake up NBC – you should be sponsoring these “watch parties.” Verses just picked up the viewers you should have had. I guess NBC doesn’t have bigger fish to fry…
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