Nielsen Measures Out of Home TV Viewing; It's Not Hugely Significant

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September 2nd, 2008

Nielsen announced that along with Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI) it has begin delivering the first daily ratings of national television viewing that happens outside of the home, including offices, fitness clubs, hotels and bars.

In its press release Nielsen provided data for the month of July among 13-54 year olds for both broadcast and cable. Out of home viewing during July was led by a repeat of House (I love House! But that still surprises me) on broadcast and the Home Run Derby on cable, both with 570,000 viewers. The House episode on 6/30/08 had 8.058 million viewers via in-home viewers, so the 570,000 would represent an increase of about 7%. The Home Run Derby drew 9.116 million viewers from in-home TV viewing, so the 570,000 represents an increase of around 6%.

Nielsen also listed some selected sports events from June 30-August 10, including the first few days of Olympic coverage. In the case of the Olympics opening ceremonies, the most-viewed out of home of any event Nielsen listed, it was seen out of the home by an additional 1.054 million viewers. But Nielsen reported that 34.891 million saw the event on television, so out of home viewing winds up representing a 3% increase.

We're pretty sure that unless the out of home viewing gets extended to student lounges at colleges, it won't be good enough for the girls who love Gossip Girl.

A couple of notes about these numbers: for now, though it appears that the data is being purchased by ESPN and Zenith Media, it isn't a generally accepted currency for the buying and selling of advertising and we imagine the advertisers will resist paying for the incremental gains measured out of home for as long as they possibly can.

Though House leading the broadcast pack for July somewhat surprises me, the percentage gains themselves really don't. I didn't think in most cases you'd see huge gains due to out of home coverage, but I am hugely interested to see what happens with NFL football and things like the World Series. I don't think it'll jump up to 20% or anything, though I imagine those events will show higher percentage increase than the Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing.

You can see the full release, including all the data tables here (PDF).

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