NBC to Offer Daily Olympic Audience Measurement

NBC will offer daily audience measurement data during its 17 days of Summer Olympics coverage from Beijing that will include not only daily TV ratings from Nielsen, but also its own daily data and measurement of its online, video-on-demand and mobile audiences.

Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBC, is calling it the most comprehensive research effort ever conducted around a single event.

And if the systems for gathering the data work out, he is hoping to begin with the new Fall prime time television season, measuring and releasing data regularly on viewership of NBC entertainment programming on those other platforms.

NBC has contracted with measurement services for platforms outside of television and will call its data distribution Total Audience Measurement Index (TAMI).

NBC will work with Quantcast to measure NBCOlympics.com unique users, viewers of video streams of the competition, page views and time spent online on a daily basis and release that data publicly. It will be the first time that online demo data is being measured on an overnight basis.

The mobile measurement data released daily will include unique users, page views and views of clips via mobile VOD.

NBC also will conduct a multi-platform study on how viewers and online users consume their Olympic coverage. It has contracted with Knowledge Networks to do an online survey of 500 different Olympics watchers per day, a total of 8,500 through the course of the games. These people, who will be contacted to participate before the Games begin, will keep a media diary to record exactly how they watch the Olympics, medium by medium, throughout the day, and where they are when they are watching. This will be a nationally projected sample.

NBC will also conduct single-source electronic measurement of viewing of the Games via IMMI phone methodology. People will be given cell phones containing special chips tying their phones to a computer site that through certain technology will passively measure the time they spent with the Olympics on all platforms throughout the day.

Wurtzel said the cell phones will pick up sound bytes that can indicate which platform the person was experiencing the games on.

Finally, NBC will conduct an Olympic Qualitative Panel in which it will select 80 people in two major markets and conduct interviews and focus groups. The people will also keep a diary of their Olympic viewing habits. NBC will then discuss with them how they viewed the Olympics and why they watched certain coverage or events or didn