Moonves: Total Audience Measurement to Be Used in Upfront

Related: Moonves: Viacom Talks Still in Early Stages

CBS CEO Les Moonves said he expected Nielsen's Total Audience Measurement to be a big part of the negotiations in nexat year's upfront..

Speaking during CBS’ earnings call Thursday afternoon, Moonves said that CBS gets about 20 million viewers a week via digital devices which are mostly not incorporated into the current ratings system.

"Total audience ratings represents another significant step toward getting paid for the audience we are actually delivering,. And with viewing habits changing this will become a very big number," Moonves said.

He added that when all platforms are counted CBS has more viewers watching its show than it did 15 years ago. CBS’ new fa;; sccheulde this season have 6.5% larger audiences when digital viewing is included.

He added that cross-platform ratings give a particularly big boost to late night.

CBS has identifed monetizing the viewers that aren't included in the current ratings system as a nine-digit opportunity, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Over the last couple of years, Moonves and CBS have been among the leaders in pushing the ad business toward using C7 ratings—which counts viewership of commercials viewed over seven days after air—from C3, which counts only three days of viewing.

Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer for GroupM, one of the biggest media buying agencies, has also said that Total Audience Measurement could be adopted by the ad business in time for the 2017-18 upfront.

Moonves also commented on football, noting that CBS’ Sunday afternoon NFL ratings were more stable than primetime and continue to generate some of the biggest audiences on television.

CBS’ football ratings were up 13% over the weekend he said.

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.