A meeting to discuss lifting the ban on Nielsen’s support for national ratings has been canceled.

By | November 14, 2022

The TV industry’s most popular benchmark is broken — at least for now.

Nielsen’s long-used national TV ratings still lack industry support and are unlikely to for some time. The metrics giant has asked to cancel a meeting scheduled for Monday that was supposed to show its efforts to improve its ability to count TV viewers, three people familiar with the matter said.

Nielsen on Nov. 9 asked to postpone a meeting of the media-level council’s audit committee until Nov. 14, two of the people said. The MRC, the industry regulator, holds measurement organizations to standards on behalf of the media sector. Nielsen was scheduled to outline how it developed its technology to measure television audiences. The MRC stopped accrediting Nielsen’s national ratings in September 2021, citing findings that Nielsen had underestimated viewership numbers during the coronavirus pandemic due to monitoring flaws in its technology. In a communication to the television networks about the extended committee meeting, Nielsen said two of the men showed “material insubordination.”

“It is unfortunate that someone has shared a confidential document that provides only one aspect of the story of our ongoing involvement with Nielsen’s national TV service,” MRC senior vice president and co-director David Gunzerat said in a statement. Saturday. “While it is true that MRC’s accreditation was suspended, we believe Nielsen has made significant progress on most of the issues that led to that suspension, and MRC continues to actively work with Nielsen. It is on the way to resolve the remaining issues to make the re-accreditation of the national TV service relatively short-term.

A spokesperson for Nielsen referred questions to MRC. MRC spokeswoman Nielsen could not comment on whether to postpone or cancel the Nov. 14 meeting, or on the relationship between the MRC committee and its members. The status of Nielsen’s suspension was previously reported in Advertising Age.

At issue, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, are the findings of an audit presented by Ernst & Young to the MRC committee responsible for managing the industry’s relationship with Nielsen. The investigation found that while Nielsen had improved its processes in recent months, it also pointed to several things the measurement company had not yet fixed.

The revelation of the canceled meeting is the latest salvo in a months-long jousting between the TV networks and the company and the latest sign of the longtime viewership company and the TV industry’s desire to find a new source of measurement. Audiences shine for the digital realm. Eager to show that TV networks still appreciate Madison Avenue with viewers still moving to streaming sites, Nielsen changed protocols in 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic to reduce TV viewership.

Nielsen promised to fix the issue, the networks were not satisfied. Indeed, many of them started working with measurement startups, including iSpot, Comscore and VideoAmp, and made deals based on those companies’ findings in the industry’s latest front-end market. NBCUniversal reported in June, for example, that more than 40% of pre-orders were based on factors other than traditional age and gender metrics, compared to 20% last year.

Despite the ban, Nielsen has begun working out measurement deals with many of the networks’ digital rivals. In recent weeks, Nielsen announced deals to track Alphabet’s YouTube TV audience. Netflix’s new ad-supported subscription tier; and Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” in March when a group led by Nielsen at Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation, an affiliate of activist fund Elliott Investment Management LP, negotiated a sale to Nielsen and agreed to be taken privately by Brookfield Business Partners LP. He called for a $16 billion comprehensive financial deal.

Just as Nielsen often clashes with its TV partners in terms of viewership, the e-commerce giant finds itself at odds with Amazon over how many people are watching the new streaming version of the NFL’s Thursday games. Nielsen’s viewership is smaller than the output – advertising diversity will affect how much advertisers are willing to pay to appear alongside the pigskin display.

Category: tv

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