In what Nielsen called a "foundational change" in how it
measures TV viewing -- but initially is not likely to have much effect in
practice -- the research company announced Thursday that it will expand its
definition of a TV household for ratings purposes to include homes with
That means that starting in September, Nielsen's national
People Meter sample of 23,000 TV households will include "over-the-top"
television programming, delivered over broadband to a TV set rather than via
broadcast antenna, cable, satellite or telco TV.
For now, however, the expanded definition includes only
TV-connected devices, such as Microsoft's Xbox, Apple TV and Roku's set-top,
not devices such as iPads or computers.
Only a limited amount of TV programming as tabulated by
Nielsen is delivered through Internet-connected TV devices today. For example,
Verizon FiOS customers can watch a portion of their linear lineup on Samsung
Smart TVs and Xbox gaming consoles.