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More Firms Ask To Join NBCU’s Measurement Business Review

NBCUniversal Peacock
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

NBCUniversal said more companies have asked to be included in its search for a better systems for measuring its various businesses, including television viewership.

NBCU earlier this week announced that it sent out requests for proposals to 54 measurement and data companies and that 80% of those companies sent responses and were participating, including Nielsen.

Kelly Abcarian NBCU Nielsen

Kelly Abcarian (Image credit: NBCU)

Kelly Abcarian, NBCU’s executive VP for measurement and impact, says that additional companies have asked to be involved in the process. The company is now reviewing more than 70 responses.

Among the new companies interested in submitting proposals are IBM with Watson AI, Thinking Right, Reelgood, EntTelligence and RelishMix, NBCU said.

The companies originally participating include Comscore, VideoAmp, iSpot, Conviva, Truthset and TVSquared.

NBCU said it expects to wrap up the process by the week of Sept. 20.

NBCU’s actions come at a time when media companies are particularly unhappy with Nielsen. The Media Rating Council, which oversees the methodology of measurement companies, confirmed that Nielsen was undercounting TV viewing during the pandemic, which might have cost the networks hundreds of millions of dollars.

The MRC is now deciding whether to give Nielsen the six-month hiatus it asked for to get its national TV ratings service back on target, or to suspend the accreditation of that part of Nielsen’s business.

Meanwhile at least one of Nielsen’s competitors, Comscore, has gone to the MRC looking to get the review that could lead to the accreditation of its TV measurement systems under way sooner than expected.

A range of companies have been offering new ways to measure TV viewing, advertising impression and the impact of advertising, among other metrics.

“These past few days, we’ve seen just how many good companies are committed to building the future of measurement for this entire industry,” Abcarian, a former Nielsen exec, said in a post on LinkedIn.

“Something big is happening. And it’s just the beginning,” she said. The measurement effort requires us to collaboratively explore our options, evaluate multiple independent yardsticks and expand the possibilities for our industry--because that’s how we become independent from our past and interoperable for our future.”

She said the industry and vendors need to work together.

“We are looking forward to collaborating to make sure new measurement yardsticks are accurate and accountable and built on a foundation of fairness, trust, and shared values — so we can keep competing for audience and programming on the playing field we all deserve,” Abcarian 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.