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Nielsen Launches Out-of-Home TV Ratings Service

ESPN, ESPN2 sign up as first clients

Nielsen said it launched its national out-of-home reporting service, which measures linear TV commercial viewing in bars, restaurants and other locations.

ESPN, which signed up as the service’s first client, has been working with Nielsen for some time and has already been incorporating out-of-home viewership in some of its ad sales for ESPN and ESPN2.

“Way before TV was multi-platform, it was multi-place – especially for millions of sports fans,” said Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN global sales and marketing. “We are very pleased that Nielsen is now able to effectively measure this valuable audience and make the data available to the entire industry. It is a significant step forward in measuring the unmeasured to create an accurate total live audience metric.”

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Nielsen will combine the in-home viewing from its National TV ratings panel with the out-of-home viewing captured by its Portable People Meters, which has nearly 77,000 installed panelists. Subscribing networks will receive individual day data for program and commercial audience estimates delivered on a weekly basis.

Networks have long argued that there was a lot of viewing of ballgames and other big events in public places and that viewing wasn't being reflected by ratings measuring in-home viewing. Advertisers will negotiate whether they will pay extra to reach out-of-home viewers.

“Given ESPN’s history as a pioneer in out-of-home measurement we are delighted to have them on board as our lead client. This service will allow ESPN and other networks to quantify the incremental lift that out-of-home viewing brings to their ratings,” said Lynda Clarizio, president of U.S. media for Nielsen. “As consumers routinely watch television outside of their own homes, whether in a bar during a big game or in a hotel or elsewhere, it’s imperative to capture that viewing. Measuring out-of-home audiences is another example of our commitment to providing clients with a more complete picture of their audiences through our Nielsen Total Audience measurement framework.”