The watchdog group urges Nielsen to investigate concerns over accuracy before moving forward with plans to add data from broadband-only homes to its local TV market measurement in January.
Wendy McMahon, president and co-head of ViacomCBS’s CBS News and Stations unit, has sent a letter to Nielsen objecting to the audience measurement firm’s plan to include broadband-only homes in its local ratings. The complaint adds to a chorus of criticism for Nielsen, which is already under fire for undercounting viewers and under pressure from an industry that is accelerating the search for alternatives to Nielsen, which has long dominated the ratings business.
TVNewsCheck‘s Michael Depp and Janet Stilson look at the divide that has opened up between agencies and station groups over Nielsen’s plan to include broadband-only homes in its local market samples starting this spring. Read more about the BBO homes debate here.
Nielsen’s introduction of broadband-only homes into local market samples this spring has drawn support from agencies and research firms eager to get a better measure of TV consumption in a growing world of cord cutters. Station groups want to slow down a transition they fear will bring ratings declines, among other concerns. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.
Recent sharp declines in cable network ratings — and overall lower TV usage — can be partly attributed to the steadily growing inclusion of broadband-only homes in the Nielsen TV sample. As broadband-only homes have risen, TV networks’ ratings have dropped.