NBCU Considering 100+ RFPs For New TV Measurement Methodology

The company held its first industry-wide measurement innovation forum on Tuesday.

More than 100 companies have raised their hands and submitted requests for proposals (RFPs) to be a part of NBCUniversal’s Measurement Innovation process, NBCU said today. Those companies include Comscore, iSpot.TV, Kantar, Nielsen, TVSquared, VideoAmp and many more across several categories of measurement.

“I want to start by saying that we thought we knew the measurement landscape, but once we put out a call for RFPs, we did not expect the level of response we received. We thought we were casting a wide net by asking 50 companies to reply, but to-date we have received over 100 responses and counting,” wrote Kelly Abcarian, EVP, measurement and impact, advertising and partnerships, NBCUniversal, in a memo to the industry.

As a result of that sheer number of submissions, Abcarian said NBCU plans to complete reviews and move toward next steps early next year.

“At NBCUniversal we know we can get it right, but we need the time to be diligent, thoughtful, and meticulous in our review process. We wanted to take a moment to reach out to all our incredible measurement innovators to not only thank you for your time but be transparent,” she wrote.

“NBCUniversal has committed significant resources to evaluating all 100-plus RFP submissions we have received. We have updated our timeline and will be reaching out to key potential partners after the start of the new year to begin a process to certify an initial set of companies to bring forward into this new and exciting time in measurement.”

While the industry is moving toward impressions and away from ratings as the currency of the realm, Abcarian shared six categories of more specific measurement that the task force is evaluating:


  • Audience measurement
  • Audience verification
  • Brand measurement
  • Incrementality measurement
  • Business outcome guarantee
  • Multi-touch attribution

Audience measurement covers broad measures such as impressions, reach, frequency and demographics. Audience verification metrics quantify and qualify impressions, measuring such things as attention, engagement and emotion. Brand measurement takes note of brand awareness, loyalty and impact. Similarly, incrementality measurement estimates how much a brand’s visibility is elevated as a result of advertising.

Business outcome guarantee operates as a “currency guarantee framework,” similar to today’s audience guarantees. According to NBCU, this measurement “moves the dialogue from delivering audiences to delivering outcomes of value to advertisers.”

Finally, multi-touch attribution looks at how much conversion to purchasing takes place as a result of advertising. Measuring this can help brands and media providers quickly switch gears mid-campaign to better optimize performance.

NBCUniversal announced it would be looking at measurement alternatives in August, before the Media Rating Council suspended Nielsen’s accreditation. Nielsen is now working to resolve problems with its sample, created during the pandemic, that were causing the service to undercount TV viewership. Nielsen is expected to incorporate broadband-only homes into its sample in January, assisting with the industry’s overall move to impressions.

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