Television Services (1946-1987)
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
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