Commercial Ratings Meeting Ends Without Compromise

Dec 7, 2006  •  Post A Comment

A meeting Thursday between Nielsen Media Research and some of its television and advertising clients ended without a compromise on the ratings company’s proposals for measuring how many people watch commercials.

The meeting was called so that advertising buyers and TV networks can try to reach a compromise on measuring delayed viewing of commercials by people who use digital video recorders.

One Nielsen client described today’s meeting as constructive and said a lot of questions were answered.

Disagreements on the issue came to a boil at the last upfront advertising market, with ad buyers insisting that commercial time be bought and sold on the basis of live viewers, and live plus viewers who watch recorded shows the same day they air. Networks were rebuffed in their push to negotiate deals on the basis of live plus seven-day counts.

Nielsen has suggested a compromise that would have deals negotiated on the basis of people who watch commercials in live viewing and DVR playback within two days, or live plus three days.

Without a compromise, the commercial rating plan could collapse, meaning the networks would have to arm-wrestle with buyers at the next upfront over buying on program ratings that either include or don’t include delayed DVR viewing.