Led by Group M and he Television Bureau of Advertising, Nielsen is again being pressured to provide local ratings for commercial viewing like they do at a national level.  Previously, Nielsen had only measured live program viewing at the local level, but it is rolling out Live+SD program viewing and pushing that as an enhancement at the local level.

I can understand the local stations and advertisers wanting the same commercial measurement as Nielsen does nationally, where it measures commercial (rather than program viewing)  live and up to 3 days after on DVR.   But because national commercials are national Nielsen can use technology to measure the viewing, plus at the local level viewing is much smaller.   Without any kind of technology that can easily detect national commercials (I believe it is called audio watermarking) being usable at the local level,  I just don’t see it happening.

One of the reasons they can solve the problem with technology more easily at a national level is there aren’t that many different ads.  At the local level it expands to many more.  I think Nielsen could figure it out, but it sure seems like it would be extremely labor intensive and cost a lot of money.  Money the local stations aren’t going to want to pay.

It will be interesting to see how this resolves, but my guess is that in the short-term it will resolve with Nielsen’s plans to roll-out live+SD program viewing measurement locally.

Much, much more from Claire Atkinson on Broadcasting & Cable.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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