On Being a Nielsen Family

Today is the day. The nice folks from the Nielsen company are coming out to disconnect all their equipment. Now that our commitment is over I can tell you that we have been a Nielsen family for the last two years. This is the second time we have been a part of the Nielsel Ratings system and it’s kind of a hoot knowing that what you watch on tv influences the ratings at least somewhat. One of our technicians told us we represented 60,000 households. Wow, that’s alot of folks channel surfing.

The last time we were randomly chosen to do this, the way Nielsen monitored your tv watching was a bit different. We had to keep a manual paper log of everything we were watching. That was a real pain, especially since at that time we watched alot of tv. Every time I turned around I was marking something down in the little Nielsen book. Fortunately, our commitment didn’t last long.

This time around technology has advanced significantly and the way you log what you are watching is by way of a remote which has the appropriately marked buttons for whoever is doing the watching. We even had a button for visitors and one day I seriously considered logging in EmmaLou, the trusty canine companion, as a visitor because the show I was watching was in danger of being canceled. But that would be dishonest, and I could not do that. I thought about it, though. Even though we represented 60,000 households of viewers, Jericho was still canceled. Moonlight was still canceled. I’m not convinced my Nielsen vote helped at all there. But I watched faithfully and always made sure Devoted Spouse and I were both logged in on the remote.

Being a Nielsen household brought with it some nice perks. They actually paid us. We got a check several times a year for $50. Now, that’s not alot of money, but every little bit helps. Plus, the folks at Nielsen were just super nice. Someone would visit occasionally to check the equipment and sometimes they would bring goodies along — a cheesecake or a nice apple pie. And the two times I had trouble with the equipment, the technicians rapidly appeared at my door and were always courteous and friendly. They even played with EmmaLou (but then who wouldn’t like a big old sloppy golden retriever?)

I’m going to miss Nielsen. Maybe some other company doing some other research will randomly choose us to help collect data. They can skip the cheesecake this time; I’d like a new laptop please.

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7 thoughts on “On Being a Nielsen Family

  1. It’s nice to hear from a Nielsen household that had Jericho fans!

    I wanted you to know that the fight to save Jericho is not over!

    If you want more Jericho please write to: Ms. Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604-2190.

    Ask her to continue to produce Jericho and sell it to another network. These letters need to go out now, if we wish to save Jericho.

    For more information go to: http://www.jericho-kansas.com/Community/Forums/tabid/74/forumid/27/postid/2148/view/topic/Default.aspx

  2. I wanna be a neilsen family–

    You have the greatest posts to keep me smiling and telling me interesting things. I guess some people just have that talent!!
    My best, Frank

  3. Hi Frank – You are too kind. I don’t know about the talent aspect – I just love to write. Hugs, Linda

  4. Pingback: MyBlogLog > OneTrueFan

  5. Glad to hear about your experience since the guy from Nielson is coming today to hook us up to be a Nielson family and I was a little bit skeptical, so glad to hear your had a good experience…thanks so much..
    yeah we really liked it – they brought us all kinds of cakes and goodies and every once in awhile a check would arrive in the mail. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

  6. I was choosen as a Nielsen famiky and we are doing the paper journal, its july of 2012. Perhaps if we are asked again we get a more technology advanced method, this paper diary is a pain!

  7. My experience with Nielsen has been nothing but a nightmare, not the least of which were the lies we were told during our setup, and what I discovered the technicians were telling the company. The setup was a total mess, wires everywhere, the house a mess, and we even had to disconnect a particular setup of stereo equipment. Bottom line is I’m calling them to remove their stuff. Fact is, their sampling of households is totally luck of the draw. I was told they have a list of 40 houses in a neighborhood and just start knocking on doors until someone allows them in. You are NOT special to be chose to be a Nielsen family….if you are a family who watches tv in today’s society, and does things like dvr shows, they don’t count that fully unless you watch within a specific time, etc. So if you are trying to save a show, or get one a high rating, you basically have to sit and watch it (with commercials) at the time it is actually on tv. That defeats the entire DVR usage!! Not sorry to see them go.

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