USCCB News Release
October 9, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nielsen Ratings Find Bishops' Media Campaigns on Poverty, Marriage among Most Popular
WASHINGTON-TV public service messages from the U.S. Catholic bishops to raise awareness of poverty and encourage strong marriages were among the most popular in 2007 according to Nielsen Media Research.
Among the 852 TV public service messages tracked through Nielsen's SigmaTM service in 2007, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development's (CCHD) "Poverty Line" spots were in the top ten percent in terms of air time received. CCHD, the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), began its media campaign to raise awareness of poverty in the United States in 2001. Since then, CCHD's poverty awareness TV messages have aired 223,324 times, according to Nielsen. The donated air time is worth over $32.1 million, based on a formula developed by the Television Bureau of Advertising.
"The first step in addressing poverty is becoming aware of it," said Auxiliary Bishop Francis J. Kane of Chicago, a member of the bishops' CCHD subcommittee. "The 'Poverty Line' campaign brings awareness of the needs of others into people's living rooms. The stations that provided air time showed extraordinary civic responsibility."
The "For Your Marriage" messages, first distributed in July 2007, were in the top twenty percent in terms of air time received for the year. The messages are part of a campaign to promote and strengthen marriages. They are an outreach component of the Bishops' multi-year National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage.
The messages were created from "person-on-the-street" interviews gathered in New York City, Washington, Los Angeles, Providence, R.I., and Austin, Texas. In the messages, couples speak about the everyday things that they do for each other to show love and commitment as they answer the question: "What have you done for your marriage today?" The "For Your Marriage" campaign was made possible through a grant from the USCCB's Catholic Communication Campaign.
"We are pleased to hear about the great exposure that our marriage messages have received and are very grateful to the TV stations throughout the country that provided public service time for the spots," said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB Subcommittee on Marriage and Family. "We believe that our messages are timely reminders that both husband and wife need to pay attention to even the little things to ensure a thriving, successful marriage."
As of September 7, Nielsen reported 27,726 total broadcasts of the four "For Your Marriage" messages released so far. The value of that donated air time is estimated at $3.7 million using the Television Bureau of Advertising formula. A third set of messages for the campaign will be distributed to U.S. broadcast stations in November.
Nielsen SigmaTM is a TV content tracking system that uses multiple encoding technologies to track video air play in all 210 U.S. television markets. The Catholic Communication Campaign relies on a nationwide collection in parishes that supports Church media efforts.