Ratings count switch could help station coffers
Local TV stations could be looking at a bigger payday as Nielsen gets set to change the way it counts TV viewership.On March 31, Nielsen will stop providing local clients and media agencies with live-only TV ratings and replace them with live plus same day numbers which include DVR play-back of shows, according to an item by Media Post, March 23.
Stations could see up to a 7% bump in ratings, along with the corresponding revenue, sources told Media Post’s Wayne Friedman. The change has upset media agencies over likely bigger fees and also resulted in a letter of protest from the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Group M has been spearheading a campaign to keep the live ratings and is now proposing a new plan that involves using Nielsen’s national people meter sample and applying a formula for commercial skipping in DVR households at a local level. DVRs are in 35% of homes.
John Muszynski, chief investment officer of Starcom MediaVest Group Exchange was quoted as saying the situation was, “Really an embarrassment for local spot television.”
Meanwhile a non-related press statement from the Television Advertising Bureau last week, suggested a better quarter ahead with an expectation for positive growth. While spot TV was down a whopping 23.6% in 2009, the fourth quarter was slightly less horrific with ad revenue down only 13.8%.