Audience Ratings: Radio, Television, and Cable

By Hugh Malcolm Beville Jr. | Go to book overview
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The original draft of the proposed legislation was so broad that it encompassed all ratings and other research companies. 12 After hearings were conducted, a modified bill passed the Senate, but it was defeated in Assembly committee in July 1984. This legislative act would have made it unlawful (1) to use a survey in preemployment screening of entertainers "unless the surveys provide a bona fide sample of the employee pool and audience characteristics." Entertainers would have the right to "be included in any survey used for preemployment screening or hiring upon his or her written request." 13

As a result, TVQ accelerated action to revise its sample to reflect more accurately the ethnic segments of our population. 14 Note that this is the first instance of threatened governmental intervention with respect to a syndicated qualitative measurement. If such services gain wider use and influence in program decisions, it is not unlikely that governmental agencies or industry groups such as EMRC will become involved in the area in the future.

It seems clear enough that no one--government, industry, producers, artists, or the public--really sees any merit in government involvement in the syndicated ratings field. The potential for intervention seems enough to assure continued and effective industry discipline.

Lawrence Meyers Jr., An examination of television audience measurement methods and an application of sequential analysis to the telephone interview method, doctoral dissertation, Syracuse University, New York, June 1956, p. 44.
Philip D. Jursek, An analysis of broadcast audience measurement: Recent government investigation and methodology research, with an assessment of the current state of the art, doctoral dissertation, Graduate Division, Wayne State University, Detroit, 1970, p. 34.
Harold Mehling, The Great Time-Killer ( Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1962), p. 240.
Federal Communications Commission, Order No. 59-1136, November 1959.
Jursek, p. 47.
Broadcast Ratings, Report of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Special Subcommittee on Investigations, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1966.
This includes the work of the Committee on National Television Audience Measurement (CONTAM) in its first three studies, and the NAB-ARB All-Radio Methodology Study (ARMS), both described in Appendix D.
Jursek, p. 12.
Ibid., p. 31.


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