Consortium to Challenge NielsenTV Ratings
In the US, a group of broadcast and cable networks have joined with media agencies and clients to form a consortium that will create a new TV Audience measurement system, designed to challenge Nielsen's control over the marketplace.
According to a report in today's Financial Times, participants include networks owned by NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, CBS, Discovery and Disney. They will be joined by advertisers Procter & Gamble, AT&T, and Unilever, as well as agencies GroupM and Starcom MediaVest.
The FT says that the involvement of such big names highlights how urgently advertisers feel the need for better information to justify their return on investments from ads run across multiple media platforms.
Nielsen currently measures audiences for the Internet, mobile devices and TV separately, but has already begun testing a system to measure the Internet usage of some of the members of its national TV ratings sample. This system is not expected to be up and running until 2011.
The consortium, which is expected to be operational by September, is likely to be awarding contracts for measuring set-top box data and cross-platform viewers across TV and digital sources later this year.