It seems like every time you turn around someone is taking Nielsen Media Research to task for the corporation's less-than-stellar methodology used in sampling audiences. The latest media division to slap Nielsen's hands was ABC News, who demanded Nielsen do a recount after the ratings monopoly inaccurately reported audience numbers for recent installments of World News Tonight during the digital conversion.
What I would like to know is when are Barbara Bloom, Brian Frons and Ken Corday going to go after the Nielsens? According to the Associated Press, the World News Tonight recount added a whooping 800,000 viewers for last week's broadcast! What if this is happening in daytime? What if Nielsen is grossly underestimating the number of people who are watching Guiding Light or Days of Our Lives?
Soaps use the Nielsen ratings to set their advertising rates. If potentialy hundreds of thousands of people are watching soaps who aren't being acounted for, then the networks are selling their daytime commercial slots at drastically undervalued rates, and therefore not making enough money to keep the soaps in production. How many soap operas have to get cancelled before TPTB do what the rest of the entertainment industry is doing, and call Nielsen out on this bull ish? It's time for the people who run this industry to stop offering up a nice dish of lip service, complete with a parsley on the side for decoration, about how they want to save it, and start actually taking the steps to actually accomplish the task.