Nielsen for Tivo Users....

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by ebonovic, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Sep 2, 2004 #1 of 94

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Jul 24, 2001


    On another Tivo based forum board, (Private Forum so I can't link to the thread, sorry).

    There are people reporting two things:
    1) A yellow star "showcase" item is showing up in the menu with regards on signing up to be part of the Nielsen ratings.

    2) People are recieving phone calls to be specifically part of the Nielsen ratings with regards to DVR/TiVo. (The working theory is that TiVo provided Nielsen with the user information).

    So far this was only reported by people who have SA based TiVos.

    Has anyone seen this on the DirecTV DVRs powered by Tivo versions?
  2. Sep 2, 2004 #2 of 94

    rminsk TiVoted TiVo User

    Jun 4, 2002
    Marina del...
    For me, at least, that would be a big breach in the DVR service agreement. I believe this falls under Section III paragraph D of DirecTV privacy policy. If you read thru the privacy policy you must opt-out of sharing private information with "marketing" partners. I have opted-out. If I get one of these call I will be demanding DirecTV give me free programming for life.

    III. When we share personal data with Third Parties

    We share Personal Data with companies and other entities (“Third Parties”) as follows:

    A. Support services: We share Personal Data with contractors and others that provide bill processing, technical assistance and other services that support our business activities. We take reasonable steps to require these Third Parties to maintain the confidentiality of the Personal Data.

    B. DIRECTV Receiver services: We share Personal Data with Third Parties such as UltimateTV® and Wink Communications® in order to coordinate delivery or billing of the services provided by such Third Parties to your DIRECTV Receiver.

    C. Affiliated companies: We may share Personal Data with affiliated companies, such as HUGHES Network Systems. If we choose to share data in this fashion, we will require our affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. If we are acquired by another company, that company will possess the Personal Data collected by us and it will assume the rights and obligations regarding your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

    D. Marketing: We may share Personal Data, including programming purchases, with selected media, entertainment and other similar service providers. These service providers may use this Personal Data to market products or services to you. At your option, you may direct us to not share your Personal Data with these Third Parties for these purposes by contacting us by phone (1-800-531-5000), e-mail ( or mail (DIRECTV Customer Service, P.O. Box 92600, Los Angeles, CA 90009).

    E. Legal requirements: We may share Personal Data with Third Parties in order to meet legal requirements or as otherwise specifically permitted by law.

    F. Factors Beyond our Control: Your privacy is very important to us. Because no system is 100% secure, however, we cannot provide you a guarantee that your Personal Data will not be disclosed to Third Parties in ways not contemplated by this policy. For example, despite our reasonable efforts to avoid this, Third Parties may circumvent our security measures to unlawfully intercept or access your Personal Data.

    G. Sale or transfer of the business: We may share Personal Data with Third Parties in connection with the sale, transfer or other assignment of our business.
  3. Sep 2, 2004 #3 of 94

    phone1 ?????????

    Mar 18, 2002
    Nielsen doesn't advertise for participants, they use a method for choosing viewers that is kept confidential. Participants are also required to sign an agreement not to disclose their membership.

    Clause "C" might apply here however, as TiVo has some agreements with Nielsen for sharing both aggregate data and probably TiVo owners who agree to have their personal information collected.
    Again, all hush hush, about how viewers are chosen, but anyone who has been contacted in a manner they deem improper can certainly challenge. Certainly TiVo retains the right to contact its own customers about potential participation. Agreement.htm
  4. Sep 2, 2004 #4 of 94

    BSUGrad Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Oak Creek, WI
    I received a call a day or two ago, and I have a DTiVo. It could be that I got on the list before I got DirecTV, however. I just switched a couple of months ago.
  5. Sep 2, 2004 #5 of 94

    CPD New Member

    Mar 10, 2003


    I would welcome using my HD DirecTV/Tivo unit for ratings, but I wonder how they would tell what you are actaully watching. I actually used to be a "real" Neilson household. They came in and installed a little box and I had to press a button every time I was watching a whole show. If you were just channel surfing, it would not give it full credit. With Tivo, it's on all the time so how would it know what you are watching? I don't think it would be enough to count only what you record because people often watch what is on live without recording.

  6. Sep 2, 2004 #6 of 94

    rminsk TiVoted TiVo User

    Jun 4, 2002
    Marina del...
    I do not think DirecTV is affiliated with Neilson so clause "C" does not apply. Does DirecTV own any shares in Neilson? I still think it would fall under clause "D".
  7. Sep 2, 2004 #7 of 94

    jamesbobo with a grain of salt

    Jun 18, 2000
    I have not seen the yellow star message on my DirectTivo. On the other hand, service data download has not been successful in the last two days. Also, I don't answer the phone.
  8. Sep 2, 2004 #8 of 94

    RobertE Member

    Aug 23, 2004
    Cleveland, OH
    Haven't seen anything on my Dtivo. However, I'd welcome the chance to be a Nielsen ratings person.
  9. Sep 2, 2004 #9 of 94

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Jul 24, 2001
    Do you have Caller ID? If so how did it appear on your caller ID, so I know to answer that one... :)
  10. Blurayfan

    Blurayfan Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Just to be clear in order for any TiVo user's data to be given to Nielson the user had to click a link on the Nielson showcase that told TiVo this user wished to participate in this data collection. TiVo Does not just give this data to Nielson on their own. Also I noted in the showcase only those individuals selected to participate would be called by Nielson, clicking the link does not mean you would automatically be in the program.
  11. speedy4022

    speedy4022 New Member

    Nov 27, 2000
    I participated in a Nielson ratings survey week last month and they asked if I had a DVR and explained to me how to fill out the viewers journal for DVRs. It is same journal they send to everybody else but there is a page to fill in recordings by a DVR or other recording device. Also I think the Nielson ratings system needs to update their data collection methods I mean I think writing a journal is an obsolete collection method.
  12. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    Apr 21, 2002
    Having known someone who had nielsen box installed on their SA tivo (part of their beta program for tivo several years ago) I can add a few things:

    1 - The way he was selected was by having nielsen rep knock on his door. No phone call or anything. The rep said she was driving in his neighborhood and picked the house at random. They got all excited when he had tivo and signed him up for the beta tivo program.

    2 - Nielsen for tivo is NOT a software solution. At least not purely software. It actually includes a remarkable amount of electronics connected to the TV/VCR/ and Tivo as well as a modem on the phone line. As a result, my friend's living room looked like borg was trying to assimilate it.

    3 - They have to take apart your electronics so they end up taking over the remaining warranties.

    4 - Apparently the modem for the system kept failing as he got regular phone calls to reset it


  13. BSUGrad

    BSUGrad Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Oak Creek, WI
    It actually showed up as Nielsen Ratings with an 800 number
  14. scottt

    scottt Macintosh Guru

    Sep 6, 2002
    Springfield, VA
    They are still doing this? Wow, we used journals when we were a Nielson 1985
  15. scottchez

    scottchez Member

    Dec 1, 2003
    My Neilson guy call me. Asked if I wanted to be a Neilson famliy.

    Told them I had a Direct TV DVR and He said they have not way to do those and they do not even do the journals any more.

    They are working on a way to do electronic logging for DVRs next year though.
  16. grooves12

    grooves12 New Member

    Sep 25, 2001
    San Jose,...
    I was under the impression that Nielson was ALREADY receiving this data regardless of whether you have signed up for it or not. For quite some time there has been a "Neilson" application embedded in the Tivo... I don't know if it was enable/installed or not, but it is there.

    And I don't see how this is a violation of TiVo's privacy agreement... section D CLEARLY states they have the right to give your information out to companies for Marketing purposes unless you opt out, which I doubt most people do.
  17. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    Apr 21, 2002
    There may be a difference between generic stats collected via tivo and the official "Nielson family" status that goes into ratings. Different products.

    Just guessing
  18. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY

    I have no Nielsen star on my SA TiVo. I'm on the national and NYS do not call list (does that cover reasearch?). Lately I've got some unidentifiable calls on my caller ID. More than usual.

    About a month or more ago I did get a Nielsen call saying that I'd get a book in the mail in a few weeks. Never got it. A non-TV-watching, non-TiVo friend of mine (similar demos, in the same market) got the same call.

    Probably (?) unrelated I got a call yesterday from Arbitron Radio Ratings. I took the call and told them to please send me their ratings book (after I answered all their questions). I'm supposedly expecting that soon.

    Then today I got a message on my answering machine from Nielsen saying they'd been "trying to reach me" and to please call them back. I did. I got a woman who didn't speak English barely at all! No, really! She asked if I worked for any of "the media" companies. ie: cable, TV, satelite, etc.

    Guess I was tranferred to a calling house somewhere. Anyway, they're supposed to call me back. I purposely gave them my work number but since that differs from the number they called me at I don't know if that was clear. I tried to make it so. Within the broken English she clearly mentioned a $50 payment... which is way different than the $1 or so that I've heard for the regular paper diaries.

    But, a lot of the questions were the same as the Arbitron ones I just did - the same script even. So... I'm wondering if this was just generic.

    There was no question about TiVo or DVRs but she did ask how my VCR's I own. I said "none". 'Cause I don't use any.

    S'Funny... she just called back to confirm my street address (it's very similar to my last name).

    Is this some sort of hard court press on my market (not exactly a hot bed for advertising) or something TiVo-related? Is the $50 the "Nielsen family" pay-off?

    I'm hoping the latter!
  19. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO Crimper

    Nov 3, 2002
    I saw the Nielson announcement today. Interesting. Has anyone signed up yet?
  20. doconeill

    doconeill Unix Guru

    Dec 13, 2002
    West of Boston
    I saw the yellow star on my DirecTiVo yesterday. It is one of several, but if your showcases work you can search there - it was in the second row IIRC.

    You click on one of the selections, and it says a Neilsen person _may_ call you in 4 to 6 weeks - you still need to be selected "randomly" I think. There was nothing yet about taking apart your system, DirecTiVo users being excluded, etc. And I would think that they can use the data already in the system anyways.

    As far as the old written journals, yes, they still use them. There are two sets of Neilsen "families" - there is a small set that have the PeopleMeters, and a larger set who only do it for a short time (usually a week) via the jounal.

    I've actually questioned Neilsen's "selection" methods in the past. After doung the journals one time, we received a letter saying that we didn't fit their model of TV viewers, and therefore they would not continue with us. Well, if they get to decide what a "model TV viewer" is, then it isn't an objective system.

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