Math In The Media
Media Math Activity Two
1. The first thing you will want your students to do is: become familiar with the one page handout. Never having seen the ratings in this format, the following questions are designed to help them.
a. Note: the networks are listed alphabetically across the top ( ABC, CBS, NBC, etc). These are broadcast networks, so students will NOT find cable networks or programs. Just below the network logos is a darkened row, which lists the average rating/share for that hour.
b. The days of the week are listed above each day’s ratings. So, the first row represents all of the ratings for shows broadcast on Monday of that week.
c. Have students notice the KEY box located at the very bottom of the page. Ask them to determine what one RATING point represents.
d. Looking at 8:00pm for ABC on Wednesday night, you will notice the program “LOST”; to the left of the program name is a number, in this case, the number 10. Ask students what this number represents. (It represents the fact that “LOST” was the 10th highest rated program of the week.)
e. Ask students to locate and document the top 10 programs for the week.
They should try to chart not only the program name, but the date and time, network name, rating and share. For example:
#1 Academy Awards Sunday, 8:30pm ABC, 25.4/38
#2 Oscar Countdown Sunday, 8:00pm ABC, 17.4/27
f. Ask students if they notice any trends about their list.
g. Some math and media literacy problems:
-If The Academy Awards received a 25.4 rating on Sunday night, how many TV households were watching?
-If American Idol received a 15.7 rating on Wednesday night, how many TV households were watching?
-If one 30-second commercial costs $290,000 during American Idol and there are 8 commercials in the program, how much money is generated for the WB network?
– Have students determine the cost per household during American Idol. This involves dividing the total number of households by the cost of the 8 commercials?
– Which day of the week, which hour and which network ranked highest? lowest?
– Which TV show has the highest share? the lowest share?
– After looking at a program’s competition, can you come to any conclusions?
– Ask students to make a list of different genres of programs (situation comedy; drama; talk show; news magazine; movie);
then have them document the rating/share for each program in a genre. Can they make any conclusions based on their findings?
– If you were going to advertise for new back-to-school clothes, which TV show would you want to air your commercial? Why?
– Which show probably receives the highest price for commercials? the lowest? Why?