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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Umm...Nielsen? We Don't Really Watch TV (aka Save Money on TV)

Our family was selected to provide our TV viewing information for the Nielsen Ratings over a summer sweeps week. We've done this before for radio usage, and you get paid for filling out and returning the surveys, so I was excited to do it again. Especially since I knew something they didn't that would make filling out the surveys really easy. . . We don't really watch TV.

I had an attack of conscience, so I told the guy on the phone that we rarely watch TV at our house, just in case it mattered, but he said that was fine, they needed info from all types of homes. I guess they want to know what we aren't watching, too! Yay, I can get paid for NOT watching TV!

But why don't we watch TV? It's not because we're against it or anything, but we've chosen not to subscribe to cable or satellite service, which saves us anywhere from $300 to $600 a year or more. We get about 4 channels with our antenna, but we rarely turn on the TV anyway. We have high-speed internet, so we can watch our TV shows online. A bonus with this is that you can watch your shows whenever it is convenient for you--like after the kids are in bed. You can also pause it if kids are interrupting you--like coming downstairs 3 times! I guess this is also true of Tivo, but we don't have to pay for it! :-)

Go to the website of your favorite show's channel (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc) and look for full episodes. All of these websites have many shows available to watch online for free. The one channel I would watch all the time if I had cable is HGTV (not that I'm handy or decorating-savvy, I just wish I were!). I recently discovered that a LOT of cable shows are posted on Hulu, so I can get my HGTV fix for free! Then I found out that posts shows on their website as well. USA Network also has full episodes (of shows like Monk and Psych--2 other favorites!). I'm sure other cable networks do, too, but I haven't checked.

So if you are looking for another way to save some money, consider ditching the Tivo, cable or satellite bills! You might find that you won't be missing as much as you think, and think of how much you'll be saving! And in case you're wondering, I have no idea how we were selected to fill in the Nielsen surveys. My only guess is it's because I do a lot of online surveys through a few different companies. If you are interested in doing online surveys, feel free to email me and I'll get you started!


Kris said...

Oh, how awesome for you you! That is great info on the HGTV. That is one channel I would miss if we got rid of cable - which we would like to do and get SkyAngel. Thanks! Also - it was great meeting you today! :)

Jaci said...

A note on this - I was selected about a year ago. It was great - we didn't watch much TV either so it was easy to fill out and we got paid decently for it! I just simply got a phone call from Nielsen one day asking us to do it. I don't do much for sweeps, etc, but I'm sure my name is out there like everyone else's. :)

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