Basic Training: How To Read A Rating Book


Alan Batten

One of the things a television brand manager has to deal with every day is the ratings. But many people may either never learned how or have forgotten how to read a rating book, so here’s a refresher course.

The Nielsen Media Research company compiles diary ratings four times a year in most markets. (Larger markets have additional rating books in October and January, and four markets have an additional rating opportunity in March.) Nielsen is also responsible for overnight measurements in a growing number of markets.

Let’s look at a typical rating book containing data from diaries. The first, and most obvious place to start is the designated market area, or DMA. Your ...

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