NEWS HEADLINE DISCUSSIONS

Unhappy With Neilsen System, Viewers Take Matter Into Own Hands

POSTED BY: NEWSADMIN
UPDATED: Thursday, January 23, 2003 15:49
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Tuesday, January 7, 2003 10:42 AM

NEWSADMIN


Austin, Texas - Television viewers concerned with the Neilsen Rating System's influence over programming have formed The Viewer Consortium, Inc. The mission of The Viewer Consortium (TVC) is to raise the level of audience participation in programming decisions.

TVC's efforts are focused on discussions with networks, cable groups and production companies, about developing alternatives for viewer involvement. One participation method TVC is exploring is "niche public television". The concept is based on viewer financing of networks or of specific shows. Incentives that TVC's members could provide networks include accurate audience demographic information, ratings drives to grow the audience and product drives for advertisers.

The Viewer Consortium's directors believe in the need to balance "inequities" created by the Nielsen system. "Viewers are represented principally by a ratings system that at its best gives an idea of how many people may watch something, but no idea of how much they want it on the air, nor their full capacity to make it profitable," according to TVC Managing Director, Matt Sampsell. "We want to make it easier for the audience to get involved and make their interest and participation count for something that the industry values."

The directors of the non-profit organization formed the viewer advocacy group after much brainstorming and collaboration over the Internet. Although TVC incorporated in Texas, it is an "e-company" spanning the country. The founders were inspired in part by excitement generated over the idea of direct viewer financing of shows; an idea proposed by fans of the recently cancelled space epic, Farscape.

One of TVC's first projects: Work with the fans to ensure a fifth season of Farscape. The critically acclaimed, award-winning show was abruptly cancelled in September after four seasons on the Sci-Fi Channel, despite previous announcements that a fifth season had been picked up.

The last 11 new episodes of Farscape air January through March

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Tuesday, January 7, 2003 2:04 PM

SUINEGAGPF


Does The Viewer Consortium have an URL?

----

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Tuesday, January 7, 2003 5:03 PM

SPACEMONKEY


where do I sign up. anything that might help out FIREFLY I'm game for.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2003 11:29 AM

THEFUTONCRITIC


You know it's hard to take an organization like this seriously when they misspell Nielsen so many times. They're going to have a hard time proving their point when they can't get the name of very organization they are attacking right.

Brian Ford Sullivan
Editor-In-Chief
The Futon Critic
http://www.thefutoncritic.com

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Wednesday, January 8, 2003 11:52 AM

ZENROOM


Well, just for fun...

You know it's hard to take an organisation like thefutoncritic seriously when they haven't worked out simple grammar yet. They're going to have a hard time gaining credibility when they're ostensibly there for discussing the merits of various makes of futon.

Sorry!

Substance is a bit more important than style, and if the Nileson system's flawed then it can't be a bad thing for people to suggest alternatives.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2003 11:06 PM

BONNIET


I think this is great idea. To me, it's obvious Nielsen's have always been inaccurate. They measure only that a set is on; not that anyone is watching.

As far as spelling Nielsen, it's a subconcious directive to type in "Neil" because that's a real name and the usual way of spelling it. I used to have a boyfriend named Brian and everyone spelled his name "Brain". Don't be so hard on the misspellers, it really indicates nothing.

BONNIET

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 6:57 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


I truly hope that this new found group can do something about the obviously skewed system that the Neilsen Ratings has turned out to be in reality. There has to be a better way to judge the number of people watching a program.

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Sunday, January 12, 2003 2:53 AM

EEVEE


If anyone knows how to get in touch with TVC, could you post the information here? I was hugely disappointed with the way Farscape was handled, but the cancellation of Firefly has sent me over the edge. I'd love to spend some time working with folks who are trying to change the system, although I know it's an uphill - possibly unwinnable - battle.

Thanks for any information!

(Also, this is my first post here. Apologies if I've messed anything up.)

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Monday, January 13, 2003 5:22 AM

LOSTANGEL


I want to know why this system has gone on for so long?

They only count the people who have the special boxes, and then take the data from the viewing habits of specially selected people and mathmatically? figure out how popular a particular show is with the rest of the country.

This reasoning is flawed because in order to become a Nielson family, you must be as "normal" as possible. That is a requirement that they look for when picking families. Also, it doesn't take into consideration all the people who tape a show when they can't watch it. ALSO, humans aren't predictable. You can't take our preferences and fit them into a mathematical formula.

The only way it would work is if there was some sort of "big brother" tattler chip in every TV that was ever sold.

Enough of my ranting. How can I get involved in making a more accurate system?

______________________
Lost Angel

WASH: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
ZOE: We live in a space ship, dear.
WASH: So?


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Monday, January 13, 2003 3:48 PM

JASONZZZ



From: http://www.watchfarscape.com/news/article.php?newsid=160

"...Interested? To work with the Viewer Consortium, please contact one of the following:
Join the staff and/or board (TVC Resources) sellam@mail.utexas.edu
Join our email list (TVC Email List) kernezelda@yahoo.com
Add to our site/organization list (TVC Site/Org List) mary.hinds@verizon.net
..."



Quote:

Originally posted by spacemonkey:
where do I sign up. anything that might help out FIREFLY I'm game for.


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Monday, January 13, 2003 7:54 PM

JASONZZZ



Well, all systems have inherent flaws. Any measurement system will have its unique problems. The issue is when you use the results indiscriminately and absolutely without regard to the limitations within the design of the system.
Population sampling to determine the current behaviour of the population is completely sound and valid. When done correctly, you can determine the behaviour of the majority of the population fairly accurately. I don't know if humans are predictable animals or not, but current ongoing behaviour can be sampled and determined. Whether it predicts the future is another matter.

Nielson and other population sample is used to determine the behaviour of the population as a whole. It shouldn't be used to predict behaviour or to determine the behaviour of any subgroup.


Quote:

Originally posted by lostangel:
I want to know why this system has gone on for so long?

They only count the people who have the special boxes, and then take the data from the viewing habits of specially selected people and mathmatically? figure out how popular a particular show is with the rest of the country.

This reasoning is flawed because in order to become a Nielson family, you must be as "normal" as possible. That is a requirement that they look for when picking families. Also, it doesn't take into consideration all the people who tape a show when they can't watch it. ALSO, humans aren't predictable. You can't take our preferences and fit them into a mathematical formula.

The only way it would work is if there was some sort of "big brother" tattler chip in every TV that was ever sold.

Enough of my ranting. How can I get involved in making a more accurate system?

______________________
Lost Angel

WASH: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
ZOE: We live in a space ship, dear.
WASH: So?



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Thursday, January 23, 2003 3:49 PM

MAKEN



Where do I sign up for this?

Quote:

Originally posted by Jasonzzz:

From: http://www.watchfarscape.com/news/article.php?newsid=160

"...Interested? To work with the Viewer Consortium, please contact one of the following:
Join the staff and/or board (TVC Resources) sellam@mail.utexas.edu
Join our email list (TVC Email List) kernezelda@yahoo.com
Add to our site/organization list (TVC Site/Org List) mary.hinds@verizon.net
..."



Quote:

Originally posted by spacemonkey:
where do I sign up. anything that might help out FIREFLY I'm game for.



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