Nielsen Grants Concession Over Local Ratings

By Andrew Gauthier 


Nielsen has offered a peace offering late this afternoon in its ongoing debate with advertisers and agencies about whether DVR viewers in local markets should count. In a letter to clients obtained by BNET Media, the ratings giant says it will give advertisers and agencies what they want: continued release of local TV ratings that only reflect “Live” viewing. In early November, Nielsen said it was going to stop giving Live viewing only ratings entirely next year, in favor of Live + Same Day ratings that record DVR-viewing within 24 hours after a program actually aired.

Here are more details of what Nielsen is offering up. Starting in January, the accustomed live ratings will continue to be issued, but only on an interim basis until discussions between all of the constituencies involved–including stations, advertisers, agencies and Nielsen –can be resolved. It will supplement that data with the Live + Same Day data that started the controversy. There are other smaller changes to the data streams that will be provided, but that’s the gist.

Since, by Nielsen’s account, 60 percent of playback occurs within the first day of live viewing, Nielsens desire to shift to Live + Same Day seems pretty logical, but not to agencies, who even threatened legal action against Nielsen for wanting to measure in such a way as to take into account current viewing habits. More…