does television have cookies?

I majored in Mass Media Communications - TV Production, so I'm well aware of the Nielsen Ratings. Although, I no longer work in that field, so I'm not aware of the new technology in TV.

Nevertheless, I was wondering if the Nielsen ratings had something similar to internet cookies. Where people and/or TV stations can instantly (real time) know if people are watching? I'm watching the Caps/Bruins game on NBC, and I would like to see if the game of hockey is getting good numbers. I'm also interested to know if there is a way to find out the definitive number of people who tune into the game.

Thanks in advance for your knowledge.

C.A.P.S.... Let's go CAPS!

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  • 9 years ago
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    Normal broadcast television is a one way system, so there is no reporting on normal sets of what is being viewed. The ratings work in one of two ways:

    1) People maintain a log their TV viewing and this is submitted to the agency at the required time.

    2) People have an external device fitted to their TV which auto automatically logs their viewing and transmits the information to the ratings agency over the telephone line.

    Both these systems involve only a very small sample of the population and then the totals are extrapolated from these results.

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