Mega Manila People TV Ratings Used To Maintain GMA-7 Dominance?

From 2005 to 2010 GMA-7 was getting boom over Mega Manila households not only due to strong terrestrial analog TV signal but also popularize its TV shows such as fantasy soaps, Korean drama, Japanese cartoons, news and current event shows, and highly debuted local drama. AGB Nielsen Philippines was only responsible to analyze an actual number of TV sets designating a TV channel on every households using an advanced TV metering console technology since it began its operation  in early mid-decade 2000s. GMA-7 was often subscribed to AGB Nielsen in order to invest more advertisers in exchange with gross earnings.

In spite of rampant Japan surplus secondhand TV shops in an ordinary public places currently tuned-in to Channel 7 that would alter legitimate household TV ratings data, there is another type of system by means of analyzing the number of people watching TV, commonly known as peoplemeter. The system was first developed in U.S. by Arbitron in mid-1980s in response to the demanding number of people that not only watch TV but also listen radio. In late 2000s Audits of Great Britain (AGB) under affiliation of Nielsen Media Research would attempt to imitate the Arbitron People TV Rating data system compared to their current TV metering prototype made in mid-1990s and the operation of that system was distributed worldwide.

There are two kinds of TV metering unit prototype for People TV Rating data system. One is the typical TV metering panel (TVM) (a unit that installed over a TV set as being used in an area called panel homes) having a built-in peoplemeter analyzer that determines an estimated—rather than actual—number of people per TV by inputting the number digit after the question mark displayed on screen set aside from analyzing the number of TV sets in every households. Second is the Portable People Meter (PPM), in which its unit has the size of a diary book and it often hid under his waistline. The TV PPM system, in which it was previously based on Radio PPM for making radio audience ratings, was often used in TV outdoor surveying that ordinary TVM used to survey households cannot. Its unit uses a special microphone picking an audio wave of a TV set, an electromagnetic wave counting the number of people watching TV, and an analog telegraphic signal (rather than using a GSM-based mobile signal or Wi-fi signal) sending a digitized counting result. (The photo of local peoplemeter TVM and PPM unit can be seen on the image search page on Google.com)

After collecting the number of TV household and the number of audience from both the TVM and the PPM, the two unit have been sent to a centralized TV audience surveying console system codenamed Pollux in order to verify and tabulate the result and processed for every two to three days. Finally the finished process of the result has been printed out, a unit codenamed Ariana.

About thousands of TVM unit and tens of thousands of PPM complied by AGB Nielsen have been subscribed from respective Mega Manila households and the individuals around Metro Manila and select suburban areas outdoors. The operation has been started by mid-2nd quarter of 2010. Compared from the current TV ratings based only the number of household about 20% to 30% value, according to People TV Ratings data only 10% to 20% of people around Mega Manila homes have been watched TV. But in the case of TV viewing outside household such as buses, public transport terminals, business establishments, and Japan surplus TV shops and several appliance stores, about 10% to 20% of people have intended to watch TV every day and every night, mainly Channel 7. The remaining 60% to 70% of Mega Manila population have been abstained to watch TV due to their hectic work, study (for students), travel, and pleasure hours.

To find out whether GMA-7 marks a higher percentage value about 6% to 15% per TV shows of People TV Ratings in Mega Manila, here’s my own observation: Firstly, suppose that about 1 million people have intended to watch various TV shows separately on Channel 7 every hour once they ride-in and ride-out every city and provincial commercial air-conditioned buses. With every 60 seats per bus unit, about 16 thousand buses with TV have been surrounded around Metro Manila and nearby areas. Secondly, suppose that about hundreds of public utility, business, or government establishments outside TV households may pack 5, 10, or more people that intentionally watch TV inside that place. Thirdly, since every single house consists 4 or more persons, mainly parents, children, and relatives, the people TV rating system should be based on the actual number of people on every number of household; for example, about 300 thousand household having two to three persons per household watching (various daytime ABS-CBN) TV (shows), approximately 750 to 900 thousand people or 3% to 3.6% of Mega Manila population. [Recently, about 4% to 8% of Mega Manila population in households watch various GMA-7 shows.] Combining the separate number of people watching every separate GMA-7 shows every hour on outdoor TV viewing—say 10 to 12 TV shows every day and night—and the actual number of people watching entire GMA-7 TV shows on households, that would reach an overall 7.5 million people or 30% of Mega Manila population or more for every 18 hours a day.

GMA-7 has often been dominated a higher number of TV audiences on both household and outdoor places by 30% of population against ABS-CBN with only 12% to 14% and TV5 with 10% to 12%. Various GMA-7 shows, as posted on Pep.ph and various Philippine entertainment blogs, have ranked more than 10% to 15% of people per TV shows depending on timeslot versus ABS-CBN and TV5 shows with 3% to 10% of people. People TV Ratings has also surveyed livestream satellite TV broadcast such as Pacquiao-Margarito boxing match in 2010 with 28% of Mega Manila people over various public places.

The above-mentioned percentage values are based on the TV audience rating system for People TVcalled Audience Market Rate (AMR). Every TV shows on separate TV stations may gain about—for example—1 million to 2 million people to 3 million people watching TV or about 4%, 8%, and 12% of AMR, respectively.

Though various ABS-CBN and TV5 shows remain stable in household TV rating rankings (as well as the dominance of nightly variety game show Willing Willie on TV5), they have had frightened such TV rating system by number 0f people rather than number of household. This had led to the premature downfall of the three ABS-CBN TV shows in 2010 such as the two defunct noontime TV shows Wowowee and Pilipinas Win Na Win! with 3% of people (versus Eat Bulaga! with 8% to 10%) and musical drama of Sarah Geronimo IDOL with 7% to 9% of people.

I was often curious about this present TV audience metering system resulting on the change of perception and beliefs not only loyal TV viewers watching Channel 7 around Mega Manila but also many local entertainment press people. I was first posted a blog about the issue on this blog, but because of unfamiliar and misinformed facts I delete it momentarily. Aside from reading the official site from Nielsen media about peoplemeter but only foreword information, I opened the forums site of igma.tv and I found a reliable information about it suggested from loyal televiewers.

But what if the peoplemeter system would become inaccurate? That was a concern for ABS-CBN and other local TV and wired (cable or satellite) TV networks knowing that the system would be considered controversial, since it would be unfair on that matter in response of a healthy competition. Based from a reliable exposé, if possibly true, instead of detecting a TV set using PPM on outdoor before counting a number of audiences outdoor, the metering device would be used on any purposes that would possibly tamper legitimate surveying process. I wish that ABS-CBN should take their action on that matter that would ever repeat the past allegations of tampered TV metering data in Bacolod since 2008, but the problem that GMA-7 has their own countermeasures against ABS-CBN.

Despite such uncertainties—sad to point in reality—believing to be the next level of TV ratings data in order to compete, ABS-CBN and other local TV networks would felt their pressure to fight back against GMA-7 if they did not have a support to other people, reminding to them to watch their recent and future TV shows as much as they can. It is not bad to use the peoplemeter, but just as the conventional household TV ratings system it should be verified and corrected without disappointing to other loyal televiewers.

While GMA-7 may continue to innovate both its analog TV transmission and TV audience metering system made by AGB Nielsen such as Mega Manila People TV Ratings, GMA-7 has earned projectively 8 billion to 10 billion pesos in 2010 to future yearly trend from a previous 5 billion to 7 billion pesos a year for the past 5 years from conventional household TV ratings, versus ABS-CBN with only 4 billion to 5 billion pesos a year. The aforementioned gross TV viewing earnings were paid from most advertisers.

Both the household and outdoor took advantage to tune-in on their ordinary analog TV set to Channel 7 due to its stronger analog TV signal strength (about 100 kilowatts) even when using only indoor antenna or a lone antenna wire or coaxial cable, both fixed or movable access within 60 to 80 kilometer radius away from a taller Channel 7 TV tower structure known as GMA-7 Tower of Power, unlike Channel 2 that generates only fixed access due to a standarized analog TV transmission power (about 60 kilowatts) within 30 kilometer radius for indoor antenna and 60 to 80 kilometer radius for standard outdoor antenna away from a TV tower of ABS-CBN broadcast center. ABS-CBN understand the issue as mentioned above, although it does not able to compete with GMA-7 to gain people TV ratings but rather focus on conventional household TV ratings depending on the favor of various advertisers being invested.

ABS-CBN would welcome the possibility for the adoption of use of ISDB-T terrestrial digital TV broadcast both fixed and movable access—even the possible entry of ISDB-H mobile DTV based in Japan for some cellphone model—in the future. Meanwhile, the original TV tower structure of their facility that was reinforced its structure with even taller masts since 2009 (though it may not able to upgrade an even taller masts on the second or latter phase due to its limited infrastructure; expect to build a new, taller TV tower than GMA-7 TV tower in the future) remains its original analog TV transmission power rather than the planned 120 kilowatts lest—though not “snowy” in video reception—it would degrade video detail quality.

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