NBC to Add Digital to Ratings Projections #TCA15

Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Winter Press Tour

Pasadena, Calif. — NBC will start releasing digital viewing numbers with its ratings projections released to the press every morning. The digital projections will include viewing on platforms not counted by Nielsen.

“Live same day is pretty much irrelevant and will only become more irrelevant as time goes on and some of these long-tail and digital numbers become more relevant,” NBCUniversal president of research and media development Alan Wurtzel said in a presentation at the TCA winter press tour Friday.

The network will include digital viewing in projections for live viewing plus seven days of playback. NBC and other networks have already been including delayed-viewing projections in their daily ratings releases. Fox has included digital numbers in its projections since last year.

Fielding questions after the presentation, Wurtzel was asked about Nielsen’s software error, revealed in October, which skewed broadcast ratings, primarily inflating numbers for ABC. “It was unfortunate,” he said. “I was less concerned by the fact that they made a mistake than by the fact that it took them six months to find it. That’s what was troublesome.”

Wurtzel added that it was the broadcast networks who first noticed the error and brought it to Nielsen’s attention. “It’s kind of troubling if the client has to go to the provider and provide them the information.”