New System Syncs Ratings Data

Jan 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research has introduced a system that allows station executives to simultaneously watch programming and track the ratings flow of that programming within a couple of days after it is televised.

Nielsen began to demonstrate Grabix.com last week at the National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Las Vegas. The Web-based system combines streaming video content with minute-by-minute ratings, giving users a clear picture of what is making viewers use their remote controls.

Unlike previous systems, Mike Hudak, VP of Sigma sales development for Nielsen, said Grabix is able to sync up the programming and ratings data for several stations in a market, or even in different markets. Both the video and the minute-by-minute ratings data will be available on a two-day delay, which is faster than the data was available using other products.

Mr. Hudak said the tool would be ideal for news directors and general mangers, as well as for station group executives, who can receive program streams over the Internet. Because the system is Web-based, station executives will also be able to review the performance of their stations and their rivals at home.

The content is searchable using closed-captioning data, allowing users to pinpoint when news stories about certain subjects are televised, for example.

In addition to working with local station ratings, which was demonstrated at NATPE, the system is designed to track broadcast and cable networks on a national basis as well, Mr. Hudak said.

Grabix graphs competitive ratings data and notes points where ratings either spike or tank. The system can be set up to provide automatic alarms when ratings fluctuate by a selected amount.

Mr. Hudak declined to discuss how much Nielsen planned to charge for the service. At this point, Nielsen intends to sell Grabix to stations and networks, rather than to media agencies.