Infographic: How CBS Dominates Among Consumers

New data shows network reaches more viewers in most product categories

Consumer dominance trumps demographic dominance. That's the message CBS is trumpeting ahead of its May 13 upfront, announcing new data that shows it delivers more consumers across almost every product category than any other network.

The single-source data from Nielsen and Rentrak connects purchase data and television data (excluding sports, for the 2014-2015 season to date) across consumer categories including retail, entertainment, financial, movies and automobile.

"This is an official notification that we have this information and we want it to be incorporated into our upfront dialogue," said David Poltrak, chief research officer, CBS. His network is heading into the upfront as No. 1 in total viewers, but not in the 18-49 demographic (that title will again go to NBC). But Poltrak argues that this new data is far more valuable to advertisers than an age range.

With these findings, said Poltrak, "advertisers can move off of age-sex demos as surrogate measures of the viewing of consumer value and can now look at media audiences according to the more sophisticated and comprehensive target profiles that they have, in terms of their consumption of their product, their consumption of the competitor's products and category activity."

Poltrak acknowledged that while upfront negotiations will still be centered around the standard age and gender demographics, "we hope that this is where the conversation will move. Discussions are now going to be more and more about specifics and clearly defined targets, so that we can match the targeting efficiency that digital offers."

At the upfront, CBS will tout that it is the leading network not only in total viewers, "but with the consumers of every product and service advertised on television. And we're the number one network in delivering the audience, the customers of every major brand that's delivered in television," said Poltrak, who pointed out that "some of these are traditionally younger skewing categories where people might not have thought of CBS as being in a leadership position," including Apple Store visitors and Starbucks customers.

Additional data shows that CBS also has more top 20 series that are more popular with consumers across multiple product categories than any other network

CBS's findings were based in part on Nielsen Buyer Insights, which produces buyer ratings for TV programs across retail, restaurant, travel and entertainment verticals, and Rentrak Polk Automative Data.