Nielsen Overhauls and Expands Local TV Measurement

Additions include out-of-home metric, enlarged audience panels

Nielsen's local TV overhaul has been in the works for three years. Getty Images
Headshot of Jason Lynch

Nielsen unveiled an expansive overhaul of TV measurement in its 208 local markets that will substantially expand its audience panels while also adding out-of-home measurement in several markets.

The company said the local TV overhaul, which has been in the works for three years, will deliver more reliable and stable measurement each week.

In the summer of 2018, Nielsen replaced paper diaries with electronic measurement in 137 designated market areas, or DMAs.

Starting Friday, data delivery in Nielsen’s 71 other DMAs will include portable people meter (PPM) measurement, which will be integrated with existing TV panels in all 25 local people meter (LPM) markets and 19 set-meter (SM) markets. National people meter (NPM) homes will also be integrated into those 19 SM markets.

That will approximately double the size of the panels in those 44 DMA markets, from 30,000 people in the 25-54 demo to 60,000. It will add out-of-home measurement at locations like gym, hotels, workplaces, bars and other people’s homes.

Meanwhile, return path data (RPD) and national people meter homes will be integrated with panel data for 12 set meter and 15 code reader (CR) markets. This will increase those sample sizes from 400-800 households to 12,500-300,000 households.

“Being able to measure local TV in a way that represents all races, ages, ethnicities and behaviors is more critical than ever. Only Nielsen offers a complete, unbiased, holistic view of local audiences,” said Catherine Herkovic, evp and managing director, Nielsen Local TV, in a statement.


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