Those gosh darn TV ratings

MAKE (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 30 ianuarie 2012

Those gosh darn TV ratings

In just one night, December 31st became history, 2011 was left behind and 2012 entered the scene, and the ratings of TVR plummeted and those of Antena1, Kanal D and Prima soared.

On December 31st, the news bulletin of TVR had 3.6%, and on the next day, on January 1st, that number had fallen to 2.2% (well, to be more accurate, those were the averages of the last two months).

Was it that people didn't like the Viennese concert that TVR broadcasts every year after New Year's Eve?

Was it the generalized hangover?

If people didn't really feel like watching news, than how come the news bulletins of Antena 1 (Observator) went from 6.2% in December to 7.8% in January?!

Let's subtract from the ratings of the Romanian State Television and add to those of Antena 1.

It is an electoral year after all.

We should be preparing for it.

Do you really believe that?!

But that's not the real reason for those shifts. Honest, it's all because of who does the measurements!

Ha, ha!, what did you think?!, until December 31st, the measuring was done by GfK, and starting with January 1st, they are being measured by "Kantar Media Audiences".

Honest, this has nothing to do with the elections ...

It's all due to the strong anti-presidential movement and people gave up on watching the news of the national television and they are now watching those of Antena 1.

Who the hell says that?

I thought the shift was all due to technical changes, because the auditor was replaced?

You mean all of a sudden, starting with January 1st, the strong anti-presidential current began making its presence felt?

It's funny how before that, the ratings of the news of the TVR kept rising, from one month to the next.

And all of a sudden, in January, the bubble burst!

Do the news bulletins of the TVR have a pro-Băsescu bias?

I don't know.

But is the Teleencyclopedia also biased towards Băsescu?

It must be, because after rising continuously in 2011, it fell from 3.5% in December, to 2% in January.

So what these numbers claim is that somehow, two million people decided to give up watching documentaries on how the mammoths disappeared, because of how disgusted they are with the president (and just to avoid any possible confusion, it's the citizens that are disgusted with the president, not the mammoths, who became extinct because of how disgusted they were with Ceauşescu - make no mistake, we are talking about citizens again, except of a different kind).

And yet somehow, those same disgusted citizens turned to watching the obviously tasteless show "În puii mei", on Antena 1, where its star Fernando (with his crude humor, that even Dan Voiculescu could understand), which was dropping from one month to the next by 0.3-0.4%, in 2011, jumped 0.6% in January, now that's a good joke...

By the way, the "în puii mei" phrase is actually a thinly veiled expletive (ed. note: "gosh darnit" or "what the fudge"); is the National Audiovisual Council that oblivious to its true meaning?

Do I need to spell it out for them?

With the world crisis, the major ratings firms - S&P, Moody's, Fitch - lost their credibility, since it became obvious to everybody that they are manipulating their results. The fact that they are now downgrading entire continents leads to no effect at all, even though there are indeed major banks and countries which are beyond the brink of bankruptcy.

The fact that GfK actually forged the ratings of the Romanian TV channels, or that "Kantar Media Audiences" does the same, shouldn't surprise anybody, after all it's a small fry market, with a small volume of money, in a marginal country, without any European significance.

But we do live here and for us this is what matters.

Even smaller amounts of money are a lot for us.

We are citizens, not mammoths.

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