ABC Is the Latest Network to Sign Up for Nielsen’s Out-of-Home Ratings

Oscars, NBA Finals among programs that could see ratings bump

Live and event programming could see a ratings boost.
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ABC has become the latest TV network to opt in to Nielsen’s National Out-of-Home Reporting Service.

The move provides the broadcast network with out-of-home viewing data for places like bars, gyms, hotels, airports, offices or basically anywhere people can watch TV outside their homes. Opting in to the service means ABC has access to ratings for all content—both programs and commercials—that have aired on the network live and within seven days of time-shifted viewing. Earlier this year, ABC’s Disney sibling channels ESPN and ESPN2 became the first two U.S. TV networks to sign up for the syndicated service.

“We’re pleased to see that Nielsen has built the capability to measure viewing of ABC’s content away from home, whether consumers are enjoying our rich programming alone or with family and friends,” said Cindy Davis, evp of consumer experience for Disney-ABC Television Group. “We’re looking forward to engaging our clients with a true reflection of viewership across all screens.”

The data from the Nielsen National TV ratings panel and the out-of-home viewing captured by the Portable People Meter, or PPM, offers Nielsen-measured networks a more expansive picture of their audiences. Nielsen claims the incremental viewing derived from people watching outside the home will help networks like ABC better strategize during the media planning and buying process and make more precise audience guarantees.

This particular service measures both in-home and out-of-home audiences. ABC and subscribing networks receive weekly reports that include audience estimates for programs and commercial content.

“We are excited to have ABC join the growing list of television clients who have decided to incorporate Nielsen’s National Out-of-Home Reporting into their business in order to benefit from the incremental audience lift that they will receive,” said Peter Bradbury, managing director for Nielsen National Client Solutions. “As viewing continues to fragment across screens and devices, Nielsen is working diligently to ensure we can offer the most comprehensive view of media consumption possible.”

If early findings for ESPN and CNN are any indication, the out-of-home data could provide a strong ratings boost for ABC’s live and event programming, for which viewing is more likely to be outside the home or communal. ABC broadcasts multiple awards shows, including the Oscars and the CMA Awards. It also broadcasts college football on Saturday nights in the fall and the NBA Finals in June.

Nielsen’s OOH service uses the people meter technology from nearly 77,000 panelists. The PPM’s portability lets Nielsen measure TV viewing across 44 local markets with Nielsen’s national panel, enabling Nielsen to represent 65 percent of America’s TV households to project what people are watching outside of the home.

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