Audience Ratings: Radio, Television, and Cable

By Hugh Malcolm Beville Jr. | Go to book overview

Foreword

This volume fills a widespread and long-felt need for an authoritative reference work on broadcast ratings. Because of rating's influence over programming and advertising, there is a high degree of interest in broadcast ratings in many quarters: businessmen, marketers, advertisers, program producers as well as the broadcast and cable industries themselves. Washington officials, Wall Street analysts, writers and journalists, and all people have a stake in the procedures and outcome of ratings surveys. Yet no authoritative source exists.

Information supplied by each ratings company is limited to its specific ongoing or past services whereas books that refer to ratings devote no more than a chapter to the subject.

The academic community in the fields of telecommunications, marketing, and advertising lack a significant source book. Those entering the fields of electronic media, advertising, and other media have no place to turn for a background on ratings. Few professionals in the fields of broadcasting or advertising are aware of how ratings developed and why and how the present systems came to be. Hugh M. Beville, Jr., has called on over a half century of personal experience in broadcast research to put this account into print as a lasting contribution and reference work.

The book is outlined in a relatively straightforward manner. First comes the historical development of radio and ratio ratings. Chapter 3 deals with television ratings, which directly drew on radio experience. The treatment is largely by company because, initially at least, every major rating service advocated and used a unique technique. Chapter 4 deals with a comparative analysis of methodologies, drawing on many of the significant methodological studies carried out by rating services and industry groups. The next chapters deal with two areas

-ix-

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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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