Nielsen’s Surprise National OOH Measurement Delay Throws Another Wrench Into Upfront Talks

Stunned executives ask ratings firm to reverse 'unjustifiable' decision

Out-of-home viewing data from sports bars, gyms and hotels helps boost news and live sports' ratings by roughly 10%. Getty Images

During the ongoing round of upfront talks, media companies were seemingly operating from a defensive position amid economic uncertainty due to Covid-19 and linear ratings continuing to decline—but thought they had an ace up their sleeve. Nielsen had planned to integrate its out-of-home viewing data into the national TV currency this fall, which would have provided roughly a 10% audience boost to many live sports and news events, and, the networks hoped, would help drive up pricing.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.