BDM100_Television_Harlan
    My television article comes from HowStuffWorks.com, and describes the process by which television networks determine their ratings. The primary method is the examination of data from Nielsen Media Research, a third party research group tasked with data collection. Nielsen organizes about 5,000 specially selected sample households into a large focus group, each equipped with a special data recording device. This computer, attached to each of the sample homes' televisions, monitors exactly when the television is on, what station it is tuned to, and even how many people are watching it. This information is gathered nightly by each device, and sent to the Nielsen headquarters for processing. In addition to their television boxes, Nielsen also conducts telephone surveys to add to the data pool. That data is then broken down to reveal how many subjects watched each particular program, and is calculated to represent how many people that reflects nationally. This survey system is ultimately responsible for the short-term ascertainment of a program's public and commercial success.

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