How do TV networks know how many households are watching a show while it’s airing? Not streaming platforms, but cable/satellite.

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How do TV networks know how many households are watching a show while it’s airing? Not streaming platforms, but cable/satellite.

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They dont. But some customers have a special receiver which can monitor use and report back. Then satellite companies just extrapolate from this data.

I had this question years ago too. I may be wrong (someone correct me if I am) but I believe they track it based on Nielsen families (Lookup Nielsen ratings/families. They’re like a small segment of American viewership who’s viewings are specifically tracked)

Well I always assumed the providers were watching through that telephone line I had to plug into my box or the cable but Nielson did once send me $10 and a book to fill out all the shows I watched that week. They could have chosen to send me a box that would allow them to track me. It used to be, when everybody used antennas, there were sensor trucks that would drive though the neighborhood and could tell what channel every household was watching!