Nielsen reversed its decision to include viewers who rely solely on broadband Internet connections to consume video in its ratings sample, in a victory for the National Association of Broadcasters and the local TV stations that it represents.
Last May, Nielsen announced that it would include broadband-only homes in its 2014 estimate of the U.S. TV household universe, which would contribute to the U.S. TV universe expanding by 1.2 percent to 115.6 million this year. But NAB has opposed the move, and announced last week that its board and the Committee on Local Television and Audience Measurement had passed a resolution calling for Nielsen to delay the integration of broadband-only homes in its ratings sample until it could conduct more research on its impact. “It is in the best interest of everyone to have the most accurate research measurement,” NAB wrote in the resolution that it released on Feb. 6.
While NAB succeeded in persuading Nielsen to delay the integration of broadband only homes, the company said it plans to begin including broadband-only homes in its sample next year.
“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,” Nielsen SVP of Insights and Analysis said in a statement published by Mediapost.
Several cable MSOs have reported growth in broadband only subscribers, including Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR ), Suddenlink Communications and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC ). Those subscribers won’t exist in Nielsen’s universe this year.
Officials at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Source: Fierce Cable, 2/12/14