CBS’ Ianniello: Shift To C7 Rating ‘Makes Sense’

>A top CBS executive crowed about an agreement with GroupM to do ad deals using the C7 measurement scheme, but other media buyers said the deal wouldn’t affect their willingness to shift from the old measurement system.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Telecom and Media Conference Tuesday morning, CBS COO Joe Ianniello acknowledged reports that CBS had an agreement with the biggest media agency to do deals based on C7, which includes more viewers watching ads on a delayed basis.

“I think that [C7] is now going to become the standard. It only makes sense,” Ianniello said. “There is significant viewership outside of the first three days, and we think it’s fair that we get paid for it. I think you’re going to see more and more of these types of deals.”

Ianniello reiterated CBS’ estimate that counting more delayed viewing represented a “nine-figure” revenue opportunity.

Ianniello declined to say what CBS gave up in exchange for GroupM agreeing to go with the measurement the networks prefer. “Let’s start with measurement. Then we’ll have a negotiation like we do every year about price,” he said. “But let’s at least count the eyeballs from if you’re watching it on this device or this device in three days or four days. If it’s being consumed, let’s put it in a pot and let’s aggregate it and say what it’s worth. As long as there’s a marketplace out there, it will find its equilibrium.”

Despite GroupM shifting to C7, the top negotiators and other major agencies said they still expected to do the bulk of their deals on C3. C3 counts three days of delayed viewing on DVRs and VOD. C7 counts seven days.

“Our stance remains as it has been,” said John Nitti, president, activation, at Zenith. “We have certain clients that will entertain C7 for an advantage and a large subset of clients where C7 makes no sense due to the close-in promotional nature of their messaging.”

Other senior buyers said they expect C3 to be the dominant currency this upfront, but preferred not to be identified.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.