Tank Lanning

Stats don’t lie, or do they?

2013-05-09 09:50
Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning (File)
So Super Rugby TV numbers are up 6.2% in general, and 18.2% for the South African home games say I in last week’s missive...

The growth in female and 4-14 year old viewership explains how TV audiences seem to be bucking the trend seen in obviously shrinking crowd attendances say I...

But how do you know that Tank, ask a few troops... Do DStv have a camera in my decoder spying on me? Agh bulldust say a few others, we all know how stats can be manipulated...

So given the above, along with the anecdotal evidence mentioned last week suggesting a waning interest in the monolith that is the current guise of Super Rugby, I thought I would dig a little deeper.

DStvi data is the information supplied by DStv to companies like Repucom Africa, who then use the information to work out what sort of return on investment a sponsor or advertiser is getting from its spend on a team or event.

So what is the nitty gritty on DStvi?

• DStv-i data derived from Set Top Boxes in people’s houses
• Every button-press on the remote is captured and households are polled daily
• The return path panel currently has about 2 200 homes reporting
• Diary data from 8 000 diary respondents is then matched with the Set Top Box data, and algorithms applied to derive personal viewing numbers
• DStv-i data measures individuals aged 4+ living in households
• It excludes guest viewing and HD (which Nielsen are looking to measure)
• It measures those TV sets in a home that are connected to the satellite
• It does NOT measure households that have a combination of both DStv and analogue
• So only channels viewed via the DStv platform are measured
• Domestic servants are not seen as main household members and are thus not included in the viewing numbers
• Viewing events longer than 5 seconds are logged, anything shorter is deemed as channel surfing
• DStv-i household universes are taken from the MultiChoice subscriber database
• DStv-i universes are updated on the 1st of every month to reflect the number of residential households registered on the subscriber management system.

So while the numbers exclude guests at a house and patrons in a pub watching a single TV, and people watching on HD, so could be said to be understated, they do presume the whole household is watching, and also call anything more than 5 seconds a view for the whole family!

So if a large percentage of DStv subscribers had 3-year-old daughters last year, a simple four candle birthday cake could account for the growth in both female and young viewership numbers this year!

And media buyers cast aspersions on the new media numbers for websites, apps and online radio stations? Yet DStvi, TAMS, RAMS and AMPS are all hunky dory in the eyes of last decades’ heroes?

Obviously I am being slightly facetious as all numbers generated in the same way that they were the previous year, are good for spotting trends, but perhaps, like the actual stats for the players themselves, TV numbers contribute to a story rather than tell the whole thing?

Tank is a former Western Province tighthead prop who now heads up Tankman Media, and sprouts forth on all things rugby on the Front Row Grunt

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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