The first year of a nationwide push-button meter, TV audience measurement system in Portugal
Ecotel Portugal had its first TV audience results available by March 1991. The experience with a nationwide meter system in Portugal is thus limited to about one year. Taking this fact into consideration and after an introduction, this paper starts with a brief comparison between the "old" diary method and the new Metered Panel. Following this, it shows two Consolidated Rating Charts with "typical" daily audience curves of working days and week-ends, for both existing Channel 1 (RTPl) and Channel 2 (RTP2). Proceeds to an assessment of TV Consumption both on a monthly and a weekday basis, focusing also on a six hour long "prime-time". Continues with a Gender Analysis of ratings vs broadcasting time (with segmentation of Targets by sex). Concentrating on RTPl and with the "expanded" prime-time of six hours (7 p.m. to 1 a.m.) a look is taken at the audience evolution of programs in four days of the week (mondays, thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays). A Lead-in/Lead-out perspective is attempted and the target segmentation by sex is maintained. The absolute top rating program being the brasilian "soap opera" normally broadcast at 8,3 p.m. in RTPl (ratings between 40 and 45 percent) a frame is shown with the consolidated ratings of this soap for each working day. Further analysis is made, using a time unit of 30 seconds, of the behaviour (ratingswise!) of the said soap opera in RTPl with competitive time period tracking of RTP2 programs. The cases when football in RTP2 competes with the RTPl soap are extracted and presented on a non consolidated fashion. The sharp plunge in soap break advertising block ratings shows an obvious "zapping" action induced by a few minutes of football. Using the same example, RTPl-Soap and RTP2-Football, the concept of "abrupt change" in audience is introduced (the criterion for "abrupt" being a slope of minimum one rating point change per time unit). It is verified that these abrupt changes occur at the beginning, break, restart and end instants of the soap. The time unit considered is still 30 seconds.
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