Nielsen is telling the FCC that it remains the best way to determine if a TV station is getting significant out-of-market viewership. A determination that a station is “significantly viewed” in an adjacent market allows an MVPD serving that market to carry the station, even if it duplicates in-market syndicated or network programming. That importation is otherwise prohibited by the network nonduplication and syndicated exclusivity rules.
Nielsen says the change will begin next September, when it begins accounting for people who watch outside of their homes. That news means that people who watch in bars, airports, offices or anywhere on their phones or tablets will be accounted for in the measurements used to set advertising rates. Last week, NBC dominated with an average of 8.8 million viewers. CBS was second with 3.7 million, ABC had 3.5 million, Fox had 3.3 million, Ion Television had 1.3 million, Univision had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 610,000.
Long gone are the days when consumers had only one option to view their favorite TV show. Today, the content options are seemingly infinite, and so are the places they can tune in. Whether it’s watching at a friend’s house, in a waiting room at a doctor’s office or at the workplace, consumers are taking their viewing habits out-of-home (OOH) and wherever the road takes them. There’s no dispute that news and sports are the leading beneficiaries of OOH viewership. But an in-depth, year-to-date analysis of OOH TV viewing data from the Nielsen Total Audience framework highlights that many other genres benefit.
To dig into out-of-home (OOH) viewing, Nielsen analyzed data to see what content Americans are consuming beyond the comfort of their own couches. The analysis, which looked into total day out-of-home TV viewership from the beginning of 2017 to the end of May, uncovered a bevy of trends — some intuitive, and some surprising — that begin to scratch the surface of this new horizon in measured behavior.
Plenty Super Bowl viewing — like other sports viewing — is out of the home, or at least at other people’s homes. This seems to be a growing trend. Over the past five years, Super Bowl viewing from consumers who do not live in the primary rating household (guests, or short-term visitors) contributes about 10% to the total ratings. For the past five years, on average, Nielsen calculates that this comes to roughly 11 million viewers.
A test in Chicago that combined Nielsen local people meter ratings with portable people meter data showed a 7%-9% audience gain.
The company has tracked viewing in bars and other venues for NBC’s Olympics coverage and Turner’s high-profile sports events. Now, it wants to move into other areas, such as regular viewing of afternoon talk shows at work. Arbitron wants to ramp up its business measuring out-of-home TV viewing in order to retain clients for the long term, rather than just specific projects.