We’ve provided answers to some of the questions you may encounter while filling out your Diary.
No matter how much or how little your household watches TV, completing and returning your diary(s) ensures that your viewing information contributes to produce accurate TV ratings. We need your help to have a complete picture of what is being watched in your area.
Yes! The people who plan and schedule television programs want to know what households like yours are watching. Unlike a newspaper or magazine, where the copies sold can be counted, there is no simple way to know how many people are watching a certain television program. Nielsen estimates the audience of TV programs with the information gathered from households like yours.
Your diary is very important to us. Households who watch little or no TV are just as important as households who watch a lot.
It's easy to make entries in the diary each time someone watches TV in your home. If you have further questions, you can call or email us.
The diary is designed to measure TV viewing at the address to which it was sent. If you are not at this address during part of the diary week, please note in the diary "no TV viewing occurred on this day-away on vacation" on those pages. For the days you are home, please fill out the diary as usual. If you are on vacation during all of the diary week, please complete steps 1 through 3 and check the box on the last page indicating "Everyone is away on vacation" before returning the diary.
No, we're sorry. We cannot include viewing that occurs at a vacation home. Please complete steps 1 through 3 and check the box in the back page to indicate "Everyone is away on vacation" before returning the diary.
Yes! We appreciate your participation. On the last page of the diary, please write in the city, state, and county where you now reside. If the diary arrived late because it was forwarded, please call our toll-free number. There still may be time to participate!
Yes! Nielsen scientifically selected your address. Viewing habits of the household at this address are important to us!
Please do not give the diary to another household. Our survey is conducted among a scientifically selected sample of homes, and your home was chosen. The other home may be selected for another survey in the future. If you give the diary to another household, we will not be able to use it.
We sent you a diary for each TV in your home since you indicated you had more than one set. Please use a seperate diary for each TV set and enter any viewing for that set in the diary. At the end of the survey week, please return all the diaries. If a set is not used at all, write "No Viewing" on the cover of that diary and return it. Please fill out steps 1-3 for all diaries.
Enter the viewing for all sets into the diary. If you do not have enough space, attach a separate sheet of paper. Be sure to include the day, time, channel name, channel number, program name, and persons watching for all viewing.
Please put one of the diaries next to the set just in case it is used. If it is not used, write "No Viewing" on the diary cover and return it with the others. By doing this, you let us know we have captured all TV viewing that occurred in your home. Please complete steps 1-3 for all diaries you've recieved.
Please complete steps 1 through 3 in the diary and write "No TV" on the diary cover before returning it to Nielsen. When we receive your diary, we will know that your home didn't refuse to participate in our survey, but that you no longer have a TV to report any television viewing.
Please complete steps 1 through 3 in the diary and check the box on the back page to indicate "TV is broken" before returning the diary. If the TV is repaired during the survey, please write "No Viewing- TV Broken" on the pages for the days you were unable to watch and make entries for your viewing on the pages for the remaining days.
Yes. Please fill out step 1 in every diary you received.
Please be assured your personal information, including your name, address, and phone number, are confidential. We will not release or sell any information about your home or attempt to sell you anything. The identities of individual homes are not used in any Nielsen reports.
If any household member is employed by or owns a company in the television or media industry, our guidelines prohibit us from including that household in our survey. If this is the case, please accept our thanks for your interest and your understanding. Answer 'Yes' to the TV/Radio employment question in step 1 of each diary and return all diaries at your convenience. If you are unsure, please call our toll-free number for more detailed information.
Yes. Please complete step 2 in each of your diaries.
Sometimes, different stations broadcast the same program at the same time. Filling in local channels you receive allows us to accurately match your viewing to the appropriate station.
Yes. You can send in a list of your TV channels, such as a channel listing from a local newspaper or your cable or satellite company. Please review the list to make sure it is accurate and no channels have changed. If there are any changes, try to correct them on the channel list itself. Also, please cross out any channels you do not receive.
Yes. Please enter information for anyone who watches TV in your home.
Yes! We are interested in all viewing that is done in your home, including your children's.
Include any visitors who watch TV in your home by writing “visitor” for first name. Also include age and gender for the visitor. If age is not known for a visitor, please provide your best guess.
List each household member, then list visitors from oldest to youngest until you run out of columns. For visitors, be sure to write the word “visitor” instead of writing in their name or initials.
The male listed first on the home's lease, deed, or mortgage should enter their name as "Male Head of House". The female listed first on the home's lease, deed, or mortgage should enter their name as "Female Head of House". Enter the names of other household members in the remaining columns.
Nielsen recognizes and values each unique household. If your home doesn't have a male head of house, please disregard column 1. If your home doesn't have a female head of house, please disregard column 2. If your home has two male or two female heads of house, please cross out and correct the gender response in step three.
This question is asking about employed members of your household. Please write in the number of hours each member of your household works in a week. Write in zero (0) for anyone not working.
Please make a note in the free space of step three of the diary if your household speaks a language other than Spanish or English. We appreciate your participation. Please complete the diary to the best of your ability.
Be sure to check yes for the cable TV service question in step 1 and write in the name of your cable company. When making entries in the "Chan. No." column, please write in the channel number. Enter the rest of the viewing information as shown in the diary instructions.
Be sure to check "yes" in the satellite question in step 1 and answer the follow-up question. Under the "Chan. No." column, enter the channel number. Enter the rest of the viewing information as shown in the diary instructions.
Please do not change your regular TV viewing habits while filling in the diary. This survey should accurately reflect what you and the other members of your household actually viewed during the survey week.
Please only record the TV viewing that occurs in your home. For this diary survey, we do not collect viewing done outside your home.
Please write "THIS TV IS ONLY USED AS A COMPUTER MONITOR" in Step 1 in the diary. Answer the questions in the diary and return it to Nielsen. If there are times you watch TV programs on this TV, enter this viewing in the diary. Be sure to mark any days the TV is used as only a computer monitor on the grid pages.
Some households have the capability of watching past episodes obtained over the internet on their TV (Hulu.com, ABC.com, Netflix.com, etc). When making the entry in the diary, write "Internet" for the station or channel name and write the actual name of the show in the Name of Show column. If there is an episode number, include that with the name too. If you are watching on another device (phone, tablet) please do not enter this in the TV Diary.
If you watched a program for at least five minutes, please record the viewing in the diary.
If a TV is not being watched or listened to, put an "X" in the farthest right column of the diary labeled ""no one watching or listening."" Draw lines down to indicate how long the set was on. Please enter the name of show, station or channel name, and channel number, if known. If someone is listening, but not watching, please fill out the diary as you would if that person was watching the TV.
Enter the program that is being listened to. Be sure to include the call letters, channel number, name of the program, and the household members listening.
Please write in the program name and channel. Also, please enter the letters “VOD” on the program line next to the program name.
If you are watching a DVR-recorded program, enter the name of show, station or channel name, and channel number on the page for the day and time it is being watched. Please place an “X” in the DVR column under the Viewing Type heading and write the date and time the show was recorded in the When Recorded column. Fill out the audience columns as usual.
When watching a recorded program on your DVR, write in the date and time the program was first recorded on your DVR in the When Recorded column. When you are watching "Live" TV, leave this column blank.
"Live" TV refers to watching programs at the time they are originally shown on television. If the program you are watching airs at 8PM and you are watching at 8PM, you are watching "Live" TV.
Please select the current day page and time row to indicate when you begin watching. Enter the channel name and number as you would for any viewing entry. If you delay the show by 15 minutes or more, please enter the original date and start time of the program in the When Recorded column as you would for other DVR playback entries. If you delay the program less than 15 minutes, please leave the When Recorded column blank as you would for a "Live" viewing entry.
No. Please just write in programs as you watch them during your survey week. Please enter the original date and start time of the program in the "Date and Time" columns.
If you are watching a program and recording it at the same time, enter the viewing in the diary pages as you would live viewing.
On the last page of the diary in the VCR table, write the date you recorded the program, the start/stop times, the channel information and name of the program.
Put an “X” in the "TV on but no one Watching/Listening" Column. On the last page of the diary in the VCR table, write the date you recorded the program, the start/stop times, the channel information and name of the program.
When you view a purchased, rented, or recorded prior to survey week VCR tape or DVD, we prefer you do not enter the program name in the diary. Write the words of one of the following appropriate statements in the Name of Show column on the page for that day: Purchased tape/DVD, Rented tape/ DVD, Pre-recorded tape/DVD.
If you are watching a VCR taped or DVD-recorded program recorded during the survey week, enter the date you recorded the program, the start/stop times, the channel information and name of the programs in the VCR pages in the back of the diary. Please also fill in the diary as usual for the time you are watching the DVD/VCR tape. Write “VCR-playback or DVD-playback” next to the program name and include the date it was recorded, if possible.
No return envelope is needed. The diary is a self-mailer. Once you have finished recording your viewing for the survey week, moisten the flap on the back cover of the diary and seal over the label on the front cover with your name on it. Once addressed, the diary is self-addressed, postage-paid, and ready to drop in the mail!
Yes, but please be sure the back flap of the diary covers your name and address label.
Please do not tear the label off. Feel free to cross off your name, but we need the mailing information to properly identify the viewing in your area. We do not disclose the names of any households that participate in our surveys.
When you mail in your diaries, we compile your viewing habits with that of other households to form ratings reports for TV stations. In these reports, we will never identify any individual home. Thank you for your participation!
Unfortunately, we cannot mail another one. However, we encourage you to participate in any future Nielsen surveys.
There may still be time to participate! Please call our toll-free telephone number.
A diary is considered late if you receive it in the mail after the Thursday start date printed on the cover. Please call our toll-free telephone number for instructions on how to proceed. It is helpful to us if you write notes in the diary to tell us what happened.
IMPORTANT: If we receive a diary with blank viewing pages and no message of what happened, we have no way of determining TV usage for those particular days. This could result in us not being able to use your information.
The money enclosed with the diary is a thank you in advance for filling out and returning your diary. We truly appreciate your participation.
Please keep the money and return the diaries sent to you. Write the reason for not participating in the diary and return it. This way we know you did receive the diary, but you are unable to participate in our survey.