I’ve been wondering how TV ratings are calculated. It’s always some precise number like “11.47% viewership” or “3.1 million tuned in nationally”. But how does Mr. Nielsen Ratings or whoever actually go about collecting the data? Does it count if I watch just a part of the show? What if I watch the same show simultaneously on two TVs? If a TV is turned on but there’s no one there to watch it, did the show really air?

So take a number like 4.7 billion, which happens to be the total TV viewers of the Beijing Olympics. How on earth do they know that nearly 2/3 of the human population tuned in to watch the Phelpster? And 93% of China, they say has been watching. Well, that’s 1/3 of the world right there.

Obviously you can’t calculate that by number of TVs out there. I doubt that 4.7 billion TVs even exist. Realistically, it’s probably just one guy somewhere in India letting the entire village into his house for an Olympic party every night. Every night they gather waving small flags, with hopeful eyes and party hats. And every night they are disappointed because the Indian athletes have probably been knocked out in the heats hours ago. Until of course, that gun-totin’ super nerd showed them what he could do. But I’m thinking the only cameras covering that event probably belonged to his parents as they were testing out their brand new SOMY Cyberslot they bought at Silk Road that morning.

Still, 2/3 of the world is a huge number. Can you imagine the possibilities if someone had thought of embedding subliminal messages into the broadcast? Really, some mastermind passed on an incredible opportunity to create an army of 4.7 billion, let’s face it, lazy ass zombies take on the only ones apparently not watching the show, the Olympic athletes. The strongest, fastest and stretchiest group of the human population v the world… in a fight to the death!

Now that, I’d totally watch!

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