This is not a post about law. I thought I would share my experience in my first week as part of the Nielsen survey that reports television ratings. The bottom line: I cannot believe that millions dollars in advertising and programming dollars rely in part on this crude system.
The survey is really antiquated. You get booklets in the mail–one for each TV in your house–for a one-week survey. Nielsen pays $5 per week for this, and the payment is made with five $1 bills (not enough $5 bills to go around, I guess). You then fill out the booklet for each program that you watch (the title, the channel, the channel number, the duration, and who in the household watched). At the end of the week, you mail the booklets back to Nielsen. Watching something online does not count. Neither does watching an old program on your DVR after the initial airing, though I suppose you can just claim that you watched in its regular time slot.
This is a great data collection system for 1980. (Which of the three networks should I watch tonight?) In 2015, not so much.