# How statisticians calculate TV rating?

France
December 20, 2009 1:44pm CST
I just wonder if they know what channel tv users are watching and if for example I record a program without watching it live, what will happen?
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5 responses
@bjcyrix (6910)
• Philippines
23 Dec 09
What I know about these survey things is that there are people who come by your house and stay with you for a few days just to watch what channels you frequent. There are also those who install meters that record which shows you watch the most as well as the channels that you like. They pay you a small amount for your trouble. As for those shows that you record, Im not sure if there is that setting in every recorder that also records the shows that you have recorded and just how many times you watch that same episode in a week. There are also those survey questionnaires done conducted by research companies. The ones that give you a form online or something and sometimes they even call you just to interview you about your tv watching habits. Thats just what I know anyways.^_^
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• France
25 Dec 09
Thanks
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@bjcyrix (6910)
• Philippines
25 Dec 09
You're welcome.
@owlwings (42105)
• Cambridge, England
20 Dec 09
Statistics are calculated by doing surveys with a 'representative' sample of viewers. It's a fact that if you poll about 1000 random viewers, you get a result that is within the 95 percentile (in other words, it is 95% likely to be the result that you would get from polling ALL viewers). Sadly, your personal statistics do not actually matter (unless you happen to be one of the survey members).
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• France
20 Dec 09
I wonder how these betting website which offer to bet on for example who is going to have the highest rating do? I guess it means it doesn't only work with surveys, right?
@owlwings (42105)
• Cambridge, England
21 Dec 09
Betting odds work slightly differently. The odds will start at something around what an independent survey would predict but the prices are actually calculated more on what people have already bet. Don't forget that the only sure winner in a betting situation is the bookie. They are very good mathematicians.
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
21 Dec 09
I think it counts as you are watching it. Maybe big brother is watching you. They know by radio frequency anyway when you watch and what you watch....
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• France
21 Dec 09
I'll keep recording when there is an interesting movie then Tonight, I set the recorder to get The Great Dictator but it didn't work It seems I'll have to buy it.
@angelsmummy (1700)
20 Dec 09
I have always wondered this, also how do they know how many people are in a household watching the programme and things like that. It has always been one of those questions thsat annoys me and I think I will never find out the answer!
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• France
20 Dec 09
Haha interesting, well that would be nice to find some answers.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
21 Dec 09
I'm responding from an email so you may have already received the answer but I'll tell you anyway. Neilsen Ratings. Neilsen is a company that selects a cross-section of people to record (in a ledger) what shows they watch and when they are not watching TV. They pay people to do this. I think I remember it being for a two-week period for each "Neilsen family". They don't pay much but it is fun doing it. I was selected once as part of the "Neilsen family". I recorded what I watched and when I didn't watch TV. Then, at the end of the two weeks, I mailed them back the ledger. They wouldn't care if you were recording a program and watching it at the same time or not. They want to know only what you do watch, even if you are recording it to watch later. That counts as you watching it.
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