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Looking Beyond Ratings For Top TV Shows

  • Forbes, Friday, October 31, 2008 9:30 AM
Everything you know about what's hot on television may be wrong. Start-up Networked Insights released a study this week challenging Nielsen's ratings system. Instead of counting households, it measures online interactions, such as people posting videos clips about a TV show and inviting friends to online fan groups.

One example of the discrepancy: In late September, Nielsen rated the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" as the fifth-most-popular show on TV. Online, however, Networked says the show was No. 1, with over 65 million interactions.

This information is just a "piece of the puzzle that advertisers didn't quantify before," something important to an advertiser that wants a show's cool to rub off on its brand, says John Lowell, SMG media buyer. "But Nielsen data is still going to be valuable."

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