CBS and the Nielsen ratings service no longer have a contract after their latest agreement expired at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Variety reports, citing two sources who are familiar with the matter.
“The situation — for now — remains fluid,” Variety reports. “Talks are likely to continue. But CBS is determined to secure a pact that it feels makes the best economic sense for the company while Nielsen believes the network will find negotiating with advertisers more difficult if it does not have access to its measures of audience viewing, these people said.”
As we reported on Dec. 19, CBS has been rumored to be preparing to move on from Nielsen as it seeks to tweak its ratings information for the multiplatform media universe. The network is said to be considering trying to make do with its own data along with input from Nielsen rival Comscore.
“CBS senior executives informed staffers at the company’s owned and operated stations and various other business units late last year to prepare in case a deal with Nielsen could not be reached,” Variety notes.
The report adds: “At issue is a long-running complaint from TV networks that Nielsen isn’t measuring the many different audiences for their programming as well as it should. As smartphones, mobile tablets and broadband-connected TV’s gain more consumer acceptance, audiences are increasingly able to stream their TV favorites in on-demand fashion, making the task of counting them exponentially more difficult. TV networks have long based their advertising rates on Nielsen’s measure of linear TV audiences, which have slipped as consumers embrace Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other streaming and on-demand options. In such an environment, TV networks believe Nielsen’s overnight ratings are no longer the critical yardstick of viewership they once were.”