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