How Do TV Ratings Work? Let the ESPN muppets tell you!
While this video from ESPN is a few years old it’s still worth a watch to understand how Nielsen measures the viewing of Nielsen family members and their in-home guests.
What’s changed since that video was made?
Nielsen now measures the online, in-app and out of home viewing of Nielsen family members.
Other Important Notes
- If you’re not viewing in a Nielsen family household, your viewing is never measured for TV ratings.
- The C3 commercial ratings mentioned in the video (now also C7 for commercial viewing up to 7 days after airdate) are what advertisers pay for, and so are the only ratings that matter for ad revenue. C3/C7 ratings are rarely seen in public, but when they are they’re very close to the Live+Same Day program ratings you see every day. Advertisers for sports programming pay primarily for Live/Live+Same Day ratings, and out of home viewing is beginning to be sold for sports as well.
- Many think Twitter activity contributes to the Nielsen TV ratings. It does not!
Here’s a much newer video with Nielsen’s Brian Fuhrer talking about the TV ratings process
Check it out. (sadly, not embeddable)