Discovery CEO Rips Nielsen Over Viewer Undercounts

Like many media executives, Discovery CEO David Zaslav is not happy with Nielsen, which admitted Tuesday that it may have undercounted viewers during the pandemic. During a conversation Wednesday at MoffetNathanson’s annual media and communications summit, Zaslav blasted Nielsen’s “antiquated system of measurement,” arguing that its ratings were inaccurate even before this latest snafu.

MRC Says Nielsen Undercounted Viewing

The Media Rating Council says that Nielsen’s numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic undercounted viewers, as was alleged by networks and distributors represented by the VAB.
In a statement, MRC said it believes that total usage of television by persons 18-49 — the key demo used to sell advertising — was understated by approximately 2% to 6% for the February 2021 measurement period.

VAB Sees Increase In Reported Viewing As Nielsen ‘Fixes’ Sample

Networks and distributors represented by the VAB, after complaining that Nielsen under-reported TV usage during the pandemic, said that reported TV usage has turned up noticeably since Nielsen resumed at-home servicing of its sample homes.

Nielsen, TV Networks Clash Over Coronavirus Viewership, And The Future

Nielsen and the networks it serves have long been at odds, like a student might be with a particularly tough college professor who always offers a B- but never an A. But lately, tensions have begun to boil over into the public sphere, raising anew the prospect that advertisers and media outlets may start using a broader range of measurement services as the benchmark for advertising and sponsorship sales.

Nielsen Rejects TV Networks’ Audit Demand

Nielsen said Friday it will not submit to an audit of its COVID-era ratings measurements, rejecting a request from TV networks who believe their ratings have been undercounted during the pandemic.

Nielsen Audience Measurement Chief Leaving

Scott Brown, the head of Nielsen’s audience measurement product, is leaving to join Experian. The move comes as Nielsen is grappling with a variety of new challenges, including charges from the TV industry that the quality of its ratings samples have deteriorated during the pandemic, because Nielsen technicians and reps have had a more difficult time gaining access to panelists’ homes.

TV Nets Demand Nielsen Submit To Audit

CBS, ABC, NBC and other TV networks want the company that audits their audiences every day to submit to an audit of its own. The Video Advertising Bureau, an industry group that represents the TV networks to Madison Avenue, is demanding that Nielsen, the arbiter of TV ratings, submit to a third-party audit from Ernst & Young, the latest salvo in a battle between to the two sides over how TV audiences were counted during the coronavirus pandemic.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | Nielsen Must Restore Clients’ Confidence

The Video Advertising Bureau accuses Nielsen of a “systematic undercounting” of TV program viewership since last March. Nielsen needs to respond to the accusation with more than a white paper.

Nielsen Defends Coronavirus Count Of TV Audience

The media industry’s go-to authority for measuring audiences acknowledged on Friday that the recent coronavirus pandemic bent its yardstick, but maintained nothing is broken. Nielsen, under fire from the TV networks that depend on it to count the audiences for which advertisers pay, says pandemic conditions resulted in a smaller panel of consumers it relies on to monitor TV viewing, but believes the trends it chronicles during 2020 remain viable.

Networks, Distributors Blast Nielsen For COVID Response That Caused Plunge In TV Usage

The Video Advertising Bureau claims “systematic under-counting” as Nielsen lost 20% of its panelists it uses to measure TV usage during the pandemic.

Time Spent Watching Video Fell In 3Q: NIelsen

Adults spent less time watching video during the third quarter of 2020, but spent a lot more time streaming connected TV, according to the latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen. Nielsen said that the average time spent per day with video fell to 5 hours and 21 second during the third quarter of 2020, compared to 5 hours and 22 second in 2019 and 5 hours and 24 second in 2919.

Nielsen And KWYT-KYPK Yakima Set Ratings Deal

Nielsen and KWYT and KYPK Yakima, Wash., stations signed an agreement under which Nielsen will provide the Spanish-language stations with local TV measurement services. Hispanavisión LLC owns the two, which are affiliated with Estrella TV and Azteca America networks, respectively. As a Latino General Manager of KYPK and KWYT, Orson Bevins recently assumed ownership of […]

Nielsen Signs Measurement Deal With Barrington Media

Nielsen Gets Higher Rating, On Wall Street

Citing “a renewed focus on measurement” in the wake of Google’s decision to abandon “identifier” tracking and ad targeting, a major equities research firm has upgraded Nielsen shares from a “market perform” to “outperform” — a Wall Street rating it hasn’t had in more than two years.

Roku’s Nielsen Deal Means It Can Make Money Off Traditional TV Viewers. Here’s How

Roku’s deal for Nielsen’s advertising video business boosts the size of its potential market and makes it more valuable to programmers going directly after consumers, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets said Wednesday. Earlier this week, streaming platform Roku said it was buying Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising unit, which includes technology that makes it easier for advertisers to target specific audiences.

Roku Acquires Nielsen’s Advanced Video Ad Unit

In a move that will bolster Roku’s advertising capabilities, the streaming company has acquired Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising unit. Terms for the deal were not disclosed. A person familiar with the transaction described it as “not material” to the overall business of Roku, whose market value is $53 billion. Nevertheless, the acquisition is a meaningful step forward for the streaming potentate. The company will now be able to serve viewers “dynamically inserted” ads on live, linear programming, opening up new horizons for its burgeoning ad business.

Nielsen Launches Identity Sync

With the media business looking to make a transition away from digital device-laden cookies, Nielsen has upped its efforts around its own identity measures, introducing Identity Sync, a global attribution system. Nielsen says the platform is the industry’s first non-campaign-specific tag that does not depend on device IDs or browsers. One of its first clients to sign on under a pilot program is the Barceló Hotel Group.

NBC Joins Fox And ABC In Ditching Nielsen’s Live + Same Day Ratings

This means that CBS is the only broadcast net among the so-called “Big 4” sticking with the earliest snapshot of how a show performed. That said, in recent seasons, CBS has also shifted its overall reliance to metrics that include delayed (mostly DVR) viewing. It just has not sworn off the “live” stuff — yet.

Talking TV | Stations Wary Of Nielsen’s BBO Homes Inclusion

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.

TVB Repeats Calls To Delay Nielsen’s Inclusion Of BBO Homes

Steve Lanzano, TVB president-CEO, said Wednesday that Nielsen should delay its inclusion of broadband-only homes in its measurement “until the current sample is fixed.”

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

TVN Focus On Business | Nielsen’s BBO Homes Measure Divides Broadcasters And Agencies

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.

Nielsen And Marquee Broadcasting Set Multi-Year Ratings Deal

Nielsen and Marquee Broadcasting Group, a privately held broadcasting company that owns several television stations, today announced a multi-year agreement whereby Nielsen will provide local TV measurement services to Marquee’s stations. “We believe that Nielsen data are vital and critical components in our comprehensive suite of tools we utilize to serve our communities across all […]

OVERNIGHTS

No Super Bowl Ratings On Monday; Nielsen Has Unprecedented Delay On Big Game Results

As America waits and waits on the viewership verdict of Sunday’s big game, it appears as of Monday evening ET that there will be no ratings for the Super Bowl any time soon. Literally becoming the new definition of the phrase “You had one job,” the long-time data measurement company has nothing to report on the Buccaneers 31-9 win over former reigning NFL champs the Kansas City Chiefs on CBS Sunday. Fast affiliate ratings may be available early in the a.m. tomorrow.

MARKET SHARE

Target Competitors’ Viewers Watching Your Station

Nielsen Launches Theatrical VOD Measurement

Nielsen on Tuesday announced the launch of a new service measuring viewing to theatrical films released direct-to-consumers via streaming services. Speaking during a session at the CES conference, Nielsen executives said the new theatrical video-on-demand audience measurement service was launched in response to pandemic’s impact on studios accelerating direct-to-consumer streaming of new films, often launched in conjunction with or in lieu of cinema releases.

Nielsen: COVID Disrupts Local Rating Panels

Nielsen said its local ratings service is now not accredited because the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted its ability to manage the panels it uses to measure what viewers are watching. The Media Rating Council accreditation of Nielsen’s local people meter and set meter service in large- and mid-sized markets has been put on “hiatus” while the company develops new ways to recruit and maintain its panels. Nielsen’s system for measuring viewership in the smallest markets is not MRC accredited.

Nielsen, Tegna Renew Multi-Year Agreement

The new deal provides measurement of digital linear audiences across all Tegna markets.

Nielsen Signs Measurement Deal With Multilingual KTSF

Nielsen’s Top Streaming Chart: The Major Takeaways So Far

Netflix shows drive the most viewership — comprising 93% of weekly top 10 lists since Aug. 3 — but the binge release model has its limits.

Nielsen ‘One’ Service Will Come With Higher Price Tag, Paid Mostly By Existing Clients

The ambitious “single currency” audience measurement plan unveiled by Nielsen this week comes with a price tag. And it will be paid mainly by charging higher prices to existing advertiser, agency and media customers, according to Wall Street analysts briefed by the company.

Nielsen Sets Major Measurement Changes

As streaming transforms the media landscape, Nielsen is making sweeping changes in the way it measures the viewing of programs and commercials, altering the way $100 billion in video advertising is bought and sold. Nielsen One will measure across linear, digital and streaming platforms, combine big data with its famous panel of Nielsen households, shift the focus from average minute per program to evaluating viewing on a second by second basis and move from a unit-based ad model to an impression based system that gives a separate audience number to individual commercials.

‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Stays Atop Nielsen Streaming Chart

Nielsen: Women, BIPOC Underrepresented

A study by Nielsen found that women and people of color are underrepresented on television relative to their share of the overall population. The study by the ratings service looked at not just how many people from various identity groups are cast on TV series, but how often and how long they appear.

Nielsen: Daytime Is The New Primetime

After eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic, daytime TV viewing has become a “second primetime,” according to Nielsen, due to the continuing growth of kids viewing and at-home workers’ TV and internet consumption.

Nielsen Names Jamie Moldafsky CMO

Former Wells Fargo marketing executive Jamie Moldafsky has been named chief marketing and communications officer of Nielsen Holdings. Moldafsky will be responsible for all marketing, including global brand strategy and management, product marketing, media, research and analytics, meetings, events and sponsorships and reputation.

Nielsen To Launch Identity Graph ID Measurement System In 2021

NEWS ANALYSIS

What If Nielsen Measured Linear TV The Way It Does Streaming?

The total minutes watched metric puts traditional shows on a much more equal footing.

Nielsen Readies Big Data Metrics For TV Advertising

Nielsen is telling clients it is going to start measuring how many people watch TV commercials in a new way, a move that will mean big changes in the way $70 billion in national TV advertising is bought and sold.

Nielsen Sells Global Connect Unit For $2.7B

Nielsen Holdings has completed an anticipated deal to spin off its Nielsen Global Connect unit for $2.7 billion to Advent International, a private equity company, in partnership with former chief executive officer of TransUnion James Peck.

Cunningham Broadcasting Reups With Nielsen

Baltimore-based Cunningham Broadcasting has signed a multi-year renewal agreement with Nielsen for local TV measurement. Cunningham is subscribing to local market data for its WATM (ABC) and WWCP (Fox) in Johnstown-Altoona-St. College, Pa., as well as WTAT (Fox) in Charleston, S.C. The new agreement also includes the Nielsen Scarborough local qualitative service. “We are excited […]