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I Control Your Television

A couple of years ago [Before Esmé, or B.E.], I agreed to participate in some sort of employment survey run by the Census Department. Basically, a guy came out every few weeks and asked if Emily and I were still employed [for whom, how many hours, etc., etc.].  Ever since then, our household has been innundated with survey requests. I love taking surveys, so I cheerfully partake in most of them. [In fact, I’ve been a panelist for PineCone Research for the past seven plus years. I was an early tester for Sprite Zero, Vault, and the Eggo Buttery Syrup, among others]. Usually, you don’t get anything in return, but like I said, I enjoy taking surveys.


With that being said, last month, Nielsen Ratings asked if I would like to participate in its Nielsen Household Survey. I first thought Nielsen wanted me to become a Nielsen Family. Alas, it was not to be. Nielsen just wanted some demographical information about our household.  But they did pay me $2 for taking the survey, so you know.


However, taking that five-minute survey paid off today, as we were officially asked be a Nielsen Family [Even Esmé’s viewing habits are to be recorded]. That’s right, folks. Emily’s love of reality tv will finally payoff. So if your favorite show gets cancelled and replaced by more reality tv, Blue’s Clues reruns, or some sort of Disney ‘tween sitcom, you can blame us [Seriously, that’s all we watch around here]. In fact, Emily has made it her personal mission to rid the airwaves of Dollhouse, starring that whore-who-can’t-act, Eliza Dushku [and conversely, expect an uptick in the ratings for Adult Swim]. Actually, the whole thing seems tedious as you have to account for every minute of television you watch for every set in the household. And if you don’t watch a particular tv set during the week, it asks that you explain why that television was never switched on. We’ll see how this goes. We might hate it. 



Categories: General Chatter
  1. March 4, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t know why Nielsen does this anymore. It seems like they should be able to track viewership through digital cable feeds.

    So do you have to fill out paper, or how does it work? Did they not just attach a box to your TV?

    I am glad you guys will have a say. I also suggest that, should you become bored with it, just start listing all the serial killer shows and “adult movies” on pay-per-view.

    • Digital Boy
      March 4, 2009 at 9:57 pm

      The system is very 20th century. Nielsen sent us a “TV Diary” for each televison we own, and we are supposed to write down anytime we watch a tv show for five minutes or longer.

      Ninety percent of the TV that gets watched between 7-7 in our house is either ad DVR’d Blue’s Clue’s rerun or the Disney Channel. So I’m not sure how useful that’s going to be for Neilsen.

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