Poor Oprah. Remember when she said that thing about not eating meat, then the meat industry was mad at her or whatever? And now this! Apparently her network OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network by Oprahs for Oprahs, is not doing so well. And like any celebrity who knows exactly how everything works and is never confused about anything, especially not technology and social media, she turned to Twitter to fix it. From The Hollywood Reporter:

Winfrey, with her show Oprah’s Next Chapter about to air on her OWN network and facing competition from the Grammys, tweeted “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box.”

Aside from making her sound a bit desperate, the tweet violated the rules of the powerful Nielsen Media Research organization that dominates the TV ratings business by mentioning she wanted to especially reach those with electronic boxes in their homes that are used to measure viewership. That is not permitted.

A Nielsen spokesperson told the New York Times that “an asterisk will be attached to OWN’s ratings at the time of day Ms. Winfrey’s message was sent, noting a ‘possible biasing effect.’ ”

Every1 @ Nielsen y r u so ^set @ an innocent re?uest? (She also tweeted requesting that everyone turn to OWN during the commercials of the Grammys which is EVEN SADDER!) Obviously all of our hearts are with Oprah at this challenging time. Twitter is difficult, and it’s always difficult — for so many people, not just celebrities, Oprah — to not post embarrassing or transparent or illegal or just sad things on there. So don’t feel too dOWN about it, ha-ha-hahahahha. But this leaves one big question hanging in the air: WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED FROM OPRAH TO WATCH HER TV NETWORK, OWN? It seems like it has everything! Oprah, Oprah, Oprah, Oprah, Oprah, Oprah, Ty Pennington probably? Not sure what else you guys want (RYAN GOSLING I bet, ugh), but for those of u w/ nielsen boxes, plz send ur requests 2 ooooooprah@gOWN.harpo.com/oprah/twitter/bees. Thanks 4 your help.

Comments (32)
  1. Why would I waste my time watching a channel when I can get everything it offers in two simple Animated Gifs?

  2. it appears I don’t OWN that channel on my cable box

  3. Couldn’t she just give everyone in her audience a Nielsen box?

  4. It’s pretty strange that OWN isn’t doing better when you consider they sandwiched it between a bunch of other channels that nobody watches.

    “I stumble across OWN all the time when I flip away from the Fox Reality Channel.” – everyone, I’m sure

  5. “Fuck it. Instead of an asterisk, we’ve decided to list Oprah’s network as PWNed for that period.” — Rick Nielsen, President of the Nielsen’s and Guitarist for Cheap Trick.

  6. Has anyone here ever had a Nielsen box? I have never known or heard of a single person who had one, except for that one episode of Roseanne. I feel like it’s something they only give to people who have landlines.

    • My friend’s dad had one. He also had a landline. Curiouser and curiouser.

    • I think there are only a few thousand people in total who have them, so it’s actually not so strange not to know somebody with one. I also suspect that the selection criteria limit Nielsen households to people who don’t get out much.

    • my aunt did and she said it was a pain in the butt and wasted electricity. i guess you had to press certain buttons for who was watching? it just sounded complicated and they didn’t pay you enough to do it.

    • Had a couple friends after college that were approached. My grandparents did the survey thing. I once again have a landline, so *fingers crossed* I will get picked.

  7. Oprah’s nielsen box gets enough attention from Gayle. Or something. OPRAH AND GAYLE 4EVER.

    Stedman: Yep.

  8. I actually just expanded my cable and get the OWN network, but I also get LOGO and am thus able to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. I have also found out that there is literally nothing I would rather do than watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sorry Oprah.

    *also, when I was on the phone with the cable salesman, he was really trying to sell the package based on the inclusion of Lifetime Movie Network and OWN. “Ladies love Oprah!” – that guy. “Do you have any all ‘Tilda Swinton as a ghost hunter’ channels?” – me.

  9. Is Kelly drunk?

  10. I’m definitely going to watch OWN now!*

  11. I can’t look at Oprah anymore so this:

  12. Sounds like Oprah’s Next Chapter will be 11, amirite?

  13. Bring back Donahue!

  14. I suppose I don’t understand when media personalities move from less to more exclusive stations and then complain about viewership/listener dropoff. If you move your TV or radio program to a place where only a self-selected audience will view it, then of course you are going to have fewer (but more dedicated) fans. Oprah had huge ratings on broadcast TV because everyone could watch, and probably had the same channel on that then segue-wayed into whatever other crappy program was on next. So either stop complaining, celebrities with your own stations or on satellite radio, or stay on broadcast tv/basic cable.

  15. Heh, I thought the little banner at the bottom of the graphic said “Find your own TV and start watching now!” which seems like something that maybe Oprah would say.

  16. OWN looks like an extended Oprah show, and I stopped watching that long before it went off the air. Even my sister thought that Oprah has the worst shows on her channel. Why would I watch this when there are so many other ‘woman’ networks there to dish out this crap? I’ve never met anyone who was a Nielson family, and I don’t have a landline so that let’s me off the hook.

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