Nielsen has decided to exclude broadband-only homes from its local TV ratings for the time being.
That comes after the National Association of Broadcasters board at its winter meeting had asked Nielsen to delay its full rollout of hybrid TV/online viewing measurement (scheduled for later this year), until it can be "fully tested" in the marketplace. NAB is concerned that the addition of broadband-only homes was reducing the number of 'traditional' TV homes and could understate local TV viewership.
Nielsen had responded last week that it had heard those concerns and was evaluating its options.
It has opted out for now, saying it would not have any broadband-only homes in its local TV measurements starting with the 2014-2015 universe estimates.
"Based on a thorough evaluation of the viewing patterns in broadband-only homes and an ongoing industry appeal to maintain stable measurement in local television, we have decided to exclude broadband-only TV homes from local TV measurement and ratings for the time being," Nielsen said in a statement.
Pat McDonough, senior VP, insight and analysis, explained the change and reasoning on the ratings company's Web site.
In early 2013, the decision to include broadband-only homes in Nielsen's Television Universe Estimate was made to measure the media behavior of the average U.S. viewer in this fast-changing and evolving technological landscape. This change was made with specific and strategic measurement benchmarks in place as a way to study how this small segment of the vast viewing audience might affect the larger sample.
Based on a thorough evaluation of the viewing patterns in broadband-only homes and industry feedback on the need to maintain stable measurement in local television, we have decided to exclude broadband-only TV homes from local TV measurement and ratings for the time being. This change will take effect at the start of the 2014-2015 television season.
We will continue to deliver insights on consumer behavior in these broadband-only TV homes to all clients, including local TV clients, so that the marketplace can understand how TV and video consumption within this small group evolves.
Our clients will receive the full support of our measurement science teams as we move to a complete and holistic view of how media is consumed by local viewers in today's marketplace. With this adjustment, Nielsen and our clients are now best positioned to meet the challenges and opportunities of a fast-moving viewing landscape.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.