TV execs still (inappropriately) blaming Nielsen for changing business environment

Categories: TV Ratings

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October 20th, 2009

There probably is real money in holding luncheons and conferences once a month where TV execs are allowed to blow off steam.  Variety has done that with the inaugural Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit.

FX president and general manager John Landgraf continues to push for a ratings system that is better than what Nielsen offers:

"It needs to be completely revamped," Landgraf told the crowd at Loews Santa Monica hotel. "We have to follow viewers wherever they are. The simple fact that we can't get any compensation for anyone who doesn't watch within a three-day window is ridiculous ... now that viewing takes weeks or months."

The three day window thing -- that's NOT a Nielsen thing.  That's an advertisers don't want to pay beyond 3 days thing. That's not something that can be fixed with measurement.  But the rest is a smokescreen because most of the DVR viewing occurs within the first 3 days, without much additional ad viewing, and all that stuff about months down the road and following viewers wherever they are: that doesn't include the same ads anyway.

There are challenges online and definitely opportunities for improved measurement, but the part where the shows have about 85% fewer ads than their TV counterparts, that's a business model issue that doesn't have anything to do with Nielsen.

NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios chairman Marc Graboff, hoped that the industry-spearheaded CIMM measurement system, now in development, might become a viable alternative -- or at least spur improvements from Nielsen.

"It's intended to really try to measure total audience consumption on any platform at any time," Graboff said. "I think Nielsen kind of woke up when they saw the consortium trying to address this."

CIMM certainly has pushed Nielsen into some marketing initiatives and speeding up a focus on convergence measurement that won't solve anything because advertisers don't WANT convergence measurement unless the identical ads are running on all platforms.  TV networks want convergence measurement, not advertisers.   But CIMM is nothing but a venting body or, if you prefer a research initiative.

There is no CIMM measurement system now in development.

 
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