CNN All Screen Data Passes MRC Muster

Turner Broadcasting and Nielsen said that the Media Rating Council has evaluated their CNN All Screen measurement process and found that its aligns with the MRC's guidelines for data integration.

CNN All Screen combines the news network's viewership among in-home audiences and people watching in other places not normally measured by Nielsen. For news networks like CNN, a significant number of people are watching out of home.

According to All Screen, 18% additional viewer 25 to 54-years-old watch CNN on a total day basis. CNN would like those viewers included in its ratings when it sells advertising. Sports networks also have large out-of-home audiences.

Last week, CNBC said it would no longer use Nielsen figures to sell advertising for its daytime business news, which has significant viewership by financial professionals in offices, and has turned to a different research company to collect data about its audience for media buyers.

The MRC review of CNN All Screen was not aimed at accrediting the data, the companies said. Turner, Nielsen and the MRC are collaborating to explore the extent to which validation of fusion methods can be attained and set precedence for increased transparency of fusion products in general.

"CNN All Screen is a vital tool for our sales team to utilize when showcasing to agencies and brands the full scope of their schedules across the linear network, now including our significant and valuable out-of-home audience," Katrina Cukaj, executive VP of of CNN/HLN ad sales, said in a statement. "We already experienced strong demand for this type of scaled partnership during the upfront and look forward to continuing that conversation with additional partners."

To create the All Screen report, Nielsen's data-fusion technology combines National People Meter information with viewing captured away from the home by its Portable People Meter panel, along with online and mobile panels. The result is supposed to represent a 360-degree view of how consumers watch across all devices.

"Today's announcement validates that the methodology for capturing our CNN out-of-home viewing aligns with the guidelines the MRC has developed for such fusion/integration approaches," added Howard Shimmel, chief research officer, Turner Broadcasting System. "We look forward to using the MRC's evaluation to implement changes to improve All Screen, and to Nielsen's efforts to build upon this methodology and create a syndicated service that includes all out-of-home viewership in national television measurement."

For Nielsen, which has come under fire for being slow to add non-traditional viewing to its ratings, All Screen could become a product used  to measure out of home viewing for all TV programming.

"Today's announcement by MRC is an important step to assist Nielsen as we seek to develop a standardized approach and syndicated product to report viewers away from home viewing traditional linear television," said Megan Clarken, global watch product leadership, Nielsen. "We are excited to continue our work with CNN to help them monetize their audience and to measure consumers all day, every day and everywhere."

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.