Nielsen Gains Access to Data From Charter’s Set-Top Boxes

Mar 12, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Playing catch-up in the race to provide more granular viewing information, the Nielsen Co. made a deal with Charter Communications to use anonymous data from digital set-top cable boxes to generate television audience measurement.
Rivals including TNS Media Research, which already has a deal with Charter, use set-top box information to gather viewing changes on a second-by-second basis. Nielsen’s current ratings information is based on minute-by-minute intervals.
Cable companies have been slowly agreeing to allow research companies to use the huge volume of viewing data from the set-top boxes in millions of subscriber homes.
Nielsen said it plans to meld the census data from 330,000 Charter households in Los Angeles with its panel-based people meter viewing data to produce expanded household and demographic reporting.
“Charter is committed to improving the precision of local market measurement,” said Jim Heneghan, senior VP of advertising sales for Charter. “By working with Nielsen, we are ensuring that our advertiser and agency clients get the most reliable data possible to evaluate their media buys.”
“At a time of rapid technological change in the television industry, Nielsen is inventing new ways to measure how people watch television,” said Jed Meyer, senior VP of Nielsen DigitalPlus. “Through these studies, we will provide Charter with new insights on the consumption of all digital video.
“At the same time,” he added, “we will be investigating the potential of digital set-top boxes and the data they generate to enhance our existing audience measurement services.”


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