NBC Stations to Move Away from Ratings in April

By Kevin Eck 

Effective April 1, NBC Owned Stations will join station groups Hearst and Nexstar in setting ad rates solely based on impressions rather than ratings.

The station group announced the move in 2019, but will finally make the switch in April. “Utilizing impressions puts local TV on a level playing field with digital, since advertisers will no longer need to convert ratings to impressions in order to evaluate an overall ad buy,” said Frank Comerford, CRO of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, in a statement.

From Adweek:

By solely using impressions instead of traditional ratings points by stations and RSNs, NBCUniversal believes marketers will be able to plan holistically across platforms and screens, and more accurately measure increase in viewers by adding more broadband-only households.

Additionally, “moving to impressions brings the added benefit of eliminating zero cell quarter-hours, which had previously resulted in a reduction in inventory,” said Michael Chico, evp of NBC and Telemundo Owned Television Station Sales, in a statement, explaining that ratings, unlike impressions, are held to Nielsen’s minimum reporting standard thresholds, and are otherwise reported as zero viewership.

The impression switch adds back “anywhere from 5-20% of viewers depending on the daypart. This provides additional inventory for agencies and clients to reach their impressions goals on buys.”

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