Archive for January 17th, 2010

Money for Nothing: Nielsen TV Survey

Just got a check for twenty bucks in the mail:

Nielsen Survey Thanks

Nielsen Survey Thanks

That’s in addition to the ten dollars folding cash money enclosed with the survey as, I suppose, a motivation to not chuck the whole thing in the trash.

The survey told us that our household had been “scientifically selected” to ensure a valid sampling of the TV viewing population, so it was very important to return the survey. I was astonished that they’d pay thirty bucks for a survey, but that’s probably a good indication of their desperation.

OK, sez I, I’ll play along; every man has his price.

It took ’em until Question 4 to get to the heart of the matter: how many television sets does our family own? Surprisingly, the first choice was “None” and, because that best describes our situation, that’s what I picked. Most of the other questions didn’t have a “Hell, no!” response, but I picked the smallest numbers, hours, and viewers they allowed.

While there is, in fact, a TV in our house, it’s parked on a basement shelf with its cord wrapped around it and hasn’t been turned on in years. Sort of like the “iron phone” I keep in a box nearby; it comes out when I must verify that the phone company’s problem is upstream of the jack on the side of the house.

And, besides, it’s an analog TV and we all know what that means: ain’t none of those signals on the air these days. Yes, we have a cable connection, but the only thing crossing the jack is Internet data and, IIRC, the Cablevision diagnostic channel.

We have a lot of time for interesting & productive projects. They didn’t ask about that sort of thing, though.

Our results were, most likely, something of a disappointment.

[Update: OK, three times is enemy action. I will delete further comments asking to be signed up for the survey. ‘Nuff said.]