Shari Anne Brill, SVP/director of programming for Carat USA and her team have issued an official white paper defining why the media agency endorses Average Commercial Minute ratings, including up to three days of DVR viewing, or "C3."
Said Brill: "Next week, Nielsen will release the first set of official average commercial minute ratings which became the new reporting standard for most national television buys in the 2007/08 upfront marketplace. While we may have liked the time to examine more data before entering the marketplace, we think this is an important step towards providing greater accountability to our clients.
The catalyst behind the industry’s migration to Commercial Minute Ratings was the growing number of DVR households and the need to include the increasing amount timeshifted viewing. For an industry that can’t agree on much of anything "Average Commercial Minute Rating Plus Three Days of DVR playback" (now dubbed "C3"), quickly became an adopted standard. It gives the networks credit for live and timeshifted viewing behavior up to three days later, provided viewers stay tuned through the minutes that contain national ads. It offers a better read of potential commercial exposure because it accounts for fast-forwarding as well as channel switching behavior. It also helps to shed light on commercial formatting issues.
Timeshifted viewing is most prevalent during primetime and to a lesser extent, daytime. It’s virtually non-existent in other network dayparts and not much of an issue in cable, with the exception of popular scripted originals.