Understanding the Nielsen Ratings
|What are the Nielson
Nielsen ratings are the audience
measurement systems developed by the Nielsen Company, in an effort
to determine the audience size and composition of television
programming in the United States and has been in use since the
Reading the ratings.
Nielson ratings are expressed using three measurements: ratings,
share and ranking and is shown in the below format.
13.8 rating, 26 share, 1st (15th overall)
The first number
(the rating) represents the number of television equipped households
which tuned in to watch that episode. Each rating point represents 1
percent of total television equipped households in the US, which at
the time of MacGyver's original airing was around 950,000 households. (Nielsen
re-estimates the number of TV-equipped households each August for
the upcoming television season.)
The second number (the
share) is the percentage of television sets in use at the time which tuned to
number (the ranking) tells how the episode ranked against its
competition on the other networks.
The fourth number shows
how the episode fared against all of the other programs shown for
So for the above example, which is for The
Stringer episode, we can see that it drew a little over 13 million
viewers. 26 percent of the television sets on at the time were tuned
to the show, which won its time slot for the night and placed 15th
for the week.