The National Association of Broadcasters board has asked Nielsen to delay its implementation of hybrid TV/online viewing measurement (scheduled for later this year), until it can be "fully tested" in the marketplace.
It also wants Nielsen to increase its sample size in TV markets so that the broadband-only homes is additive and does not reduce the number of TV homes in the sample.
The board, gathered in Washington for its regular winter meeting, unanimously passed the following resolution to that effect, with the support of COLTAM (the Committee on Local Television Audience Measurement):
"Whereas: Nielsen has proposed releasing a new 'hybrid' measurement later this year that would serve as 'currency' for determining advertising rates in local broadcast television markets, and;
“Whereas: Nielsen is also adding "broadband-only homes" into the local TV market samples, thus reducing the number of 'traditional' TV homes in the Nielsen sample, and;
“Whereas: The impact of both of these new measurements could understate actual viewership of local television stations, and;
“Whereas: It is in the best interest of everyone to have the most accurate research measurement;
“Therefore, the Committee on Local Television Audience Measurement (COLTAM) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Television Board of Directors resolves that:
- Nielsen delay implementation of hybrid measurement, methodology and technology until it can be fully tested in the marketplace, and
- Nielsen increase its sample size in local TV markets to make "broadband-only homes" additive to its samples beyond 2014."
"Nielsen is committed to improving local TV measurement," said Nielsen in a statement. "Increasing sample sizes through Hybrid audience measurement will provide more stable ratings and build confidence in the local media marketplace. We will continue to work with many industry stakeholders, including the MRC and NAB's COLTAM, to review Hybrid methodology and technology. It is important to get it right.
"Clients have been promised both preliminary and parallel data phases before the full implementation of Hybrid and we have already pushed out our implementation timelines as we work through the required research to support the proposed methodology. We will continue to work closely with the industry on our progress and timelines.
"On a parallel track, we recently announced our commitment to invest in a panel expansion for five Local People Meter markets during the coming calendar year.
"We hear the concerns about the inclusion of broadband-only homes in the local TV samples. We are currently evaluating several different options to address concerns and we expect to make an announcement in the near future."