Why we need Nielsen…

These days, TV shows are designed to attract specific audiences and usually they do. Sometimes, however, buyers and planners come across audience figures that leave them wondering: 'Could this possibly be right?'

These days, TV shows are designed to attract specific audiences and usually they do. Sometimes, however, buyers and planners come across audience figures that leave them wondering: ‘Could this possibly be right?’

* Jennifer Lopez in Concert (CH): Surely J.Lo’s bare midriff would draw red-blooded males like bees to honey. Not in Canada: Of the total viewers adults 2+, only 2.8% were men ages 18-49 (11% index* ).

* East Coast Music Awards (CBC): Fiddles on the CBC? Definitely for older folks, right? Not necessarily: 20% of the total adults 2+ audience were kids ages two to 11 (158% index*).

* The District (CH): A hard-hitting police drama set in the ‘crime-ridden, drug-infested streets in America.’ A good buy for the beer and sports crowd? Try again. Only 9.9% of total audience are men 18-49 (39% index*).

* Roswell (Citytv): O.K., Roswell features teens’ problems and cute alien guys. So you’d think they’d be the ones watching (teens, not aliens). Nope: They only represent a meagre 5% of the total adult 2+ audience (58% index*).

* Love Cruise and Temptation Island 2 (Citytv): Trash, trash, trash. Most of the viewers probably live in trailers… or maybe they’re your boss: 30% of the adult 2+ audience are OMPs (owners, managers and professionals) ( 133% index*).

* Jag (CH): Don’t be fooled by the action, this one’s challenging Murder, She Wrote as a staple in retirement homes across the country: 43% of adult 2+ viewers are 65+ (338% index*).

* Always a Bridesmaid (Life Network): Billed as ‘a document for a generation of women both freed and overwhelmed by increasing choices,’ this has got to be chick stuff, right? Hey, if it were that easy, we wouldn’t need Nielsen: 53% of the adult 2+ viewers were men 18-49! (213% index*.) Women ages 18-49 only represented 29% of the audience.

*Index vs. population base.

All figures courtesy of Lina Alles, managing partner at MindShare Canada. Source: Nielsen Media Advisor – Toronto and National people meter data. (Data Profile Analysis): w/o September 3/01 to March 17/02 all programs except Always a Bridesmaid: w/o June 4/01.