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Television FAQ's

BUYING TELEVISION: The FAQ's

What are ratings? - Nielsen Media Research measures television audience size. The size of a program's audience is measured in rating points.

What is a rating point? - A rating is a percent of households or a demographic category that viewed a program. Each rating point represents 1% of a target audience reached by a commercial. With a universe estimate at 98 million TV households in the U.S., each national rating point represents 980,000 households.

What are GRP's? - Gross Rating Points (GRP's) are the widest measurement of television ratings, representing a percent of total households in which anyone viewed the program.

What are some examples of Nielsen Demographics? - Nielsen provides demographic information based on various socioeconomic characteristics such as age, sex, income, education, household size, occupation, etc.

What is a commercial schedule? - A commercial schedule is a combination of dates and times of an advertiser's messages slated for broadcast.

What is a flight? -A flight is an advertising campaign that runs for a specified period of time.

How long is a commercial? - The most common commercial lengths are 10, 15, 30 and 60 seconds. The 30-second commercial has traditionally been the most widely used commercial length. In 1996, they accounted for 83.5% of all commercial activity by local stations and 63.9% of commercial activity by the networks.

What is a pod? - A pod is a block of commercial exposure that covers a number of different commercials.

What are dayparts? - Dayparts are specific segments of a broadcast schedule, e.g. morning, daytime, early fringe, prime time, late night, etc.

What is Reach? - Reach is an estimate of the total percentage of a target audience who watched a program at least once during a given period of time, originally measured over four weeks. A commercial schedule with a reach of 82 means that 82% of the measured audience was reached at least once during the period.

What is Frequency? - Frequency is an estimate of repetition, reflecting the average number of times individuals or homes reached by a commercial are exposed to it.

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