Audience Ratings: Radio, Television, and Cable

By Hugh Malcolm Beville Jr. | Go to book overview

3 Television Services (1946-1984)

I. INTRODUCTION

RCA/NBC introduced commercial television in the United States at the New York World's Fair in 1939, but its budding growth was halted by World War II. NBC managed to keep its New York station, WNBT, running on an abbreviated schedule of evening programs during the war to serve the few thousands of sets in use in the area. Several other stations also supplied limited service. No newspapers furnished TV listings, so NBC offered to mail its weekly schedule regularly to anyone requesting it. The postcard program listing was arranged for mail-back, with boxes for people to check which programs they had viewed and a few lines for comments or suggestions. This, then, became the basis for the first crude TV ratings. The simple feedback worked fine under the circumstances and was a useful tool to programmers. Nevertheless, if telelvision was to become an accepted advertising vehicle, better audience measurement would be necessary and it was logical to build such measurements on the established principles and technologies tested in radio. 1


II. TELEVISION COINCIDENTALS: HOOPER AND TRENDEX

C. E. Hooper, who had emerged at the head of the radio ratings field in the mid 1940s was the logical service to handle television audience measurement. Unlike Nielsen's meter, Hooper's telephone instrument was usable for a few hours an

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Audience Ratings: Radio, Television, and Cable
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Radio Services-- Pre-Tv (1930-1946) 1
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Radio Services--Post-Tv (1946-1984) 28
  • Notes 59
  • 3 - Television Services (1946-1984) 62
  • Notes 81
  • 4 - Rating Methodologies: A Comparative Examination 83
  • Notes 129
  • 5 - Quantitative Versus Qualitative Ratings 131
  • Notes 157
  • 6 - Cable Ratings (1979-1984) 160
  • Notes 183
  • 7 - Using Ratings Data 185
  • Notes 217
  • 8 - Ratings: Servant or Master? 219
  • Notes 240
  • 9 - Government Intervention 242
  • Notes 256
  • 10 - What We Have Learned: 1930-1984 258
  • Notes 270
  • 11 - A Look to the Future 271
  • Notes 292
  • Appendix A Ratings Basics: Terms, Calculations, and Relationships 294
  • Sources 299
  • Appendix B Offices and Services of Principal Syndicated Ratings Companies Operating on A National Basis 300
  • Appendix C Audience Measurement Highlights U.S. Total Population 304
  • Appendix D Methodological Studies and Assessments 315
  • Introduction 315
  • Bibliography 345
  • Index 351
  • About the Author 363
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