FOX Sports Puts It Faith In Out-of-Home Nielsen Numbers


FOX Sports has given the green light to Nielsen‘s national out-of-home reporting service.

A multi-year agreement between the dominant audience measurement services firm and one of the nation’s biggest sports programming brands has been forged.

With FOX Sports’ subscription to the Nielsen OOH service, FOX Sports programming on the FOX broadcast network, in addition to the nationally distributed pay-TV FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes networks.

The data include program and commercial ratings for live through live + 7 days of time-shifted viewing.

The National Out-of-Home Reporting Service is viewed by Nielsen as a “critical part” of its Total Audience framework, as it provides clients “with the flexibility they need to measure their complete linear TV audience.”

FOX Sports and its nationally distributed networks will receive weekly reports that include daily data for program and commercial audience estimates.

The out-of-home viewing data will be derived from Nielsen’s Portable People Meter (PPM) technology and combined with national TV ratings.

“The newly produced audience estimate will enable FOX Sports and any subscribing TV networks to fully demonstrate the breadth and depth of their content by including viewing that occurs in locations such as hotels, gyms, bars and the workplace,” Nielsen said. ” Furthermore, the PPM is equipped with detection technology to know when a panelist is in-home versus out-of-home, allowing Nielsen to capture and credit Linear TV content anywhere the viewer is watching or listening to TV.”

Not included are FOX’s wide array of regional sports networks, given the scope and focus of Nielsen’s national OOH service.

FOX Sports President/COO Eric Shanks said, “Sports are being watched everywhere, every day and on every type of screen. Our business has to keep pace with changes in viewer behavior. Nielsen’s out-of-home measurement enables us to measure our audience wherever they may be, which in turn allows us to better service the advertising industry.”

At a time when broadcast TV ratings for National Football League (NFL) game telecasts through the first half of the season were below normal — raising alarms among some industry observers — FOX’s NFL regular season games experienced a 16% lift from out-of-home measurement among adults 18-49, Nielsen says.

Such encouraging data could greatly benefit such outfits as ESPN, which has suffered significant audience erosion with respect to cable TV universe estimates (UEs) fueled, in part, by its pioneering anywhere-anytime access model. FOX Sports has taken a slower approach to making its programming available on mobile and digital devices, minus a subscription to an MVPD partner.

Interesting, Nielsen’s OOH service data for FOX Sports showed there was a younger, more diverse, more female and more affluent audience for NFL games than the networks’ in-home NFL audience.

“Measuring FOX Sports’ viewing wherever it happens is essential to the network’s growth and demonstrates the true value of content to advertisers,” Nielsen said.

Lynda Clarizio, President of Nielsen U.S. Media, commented, “Our out-of-home measurement service is another piece of Nielsen Total Audience delivering to subscribing clients richer and more robust insights into their viewers, as well as helping to uncover new and valuable audience segments.”

The opt-in National Out-of-Home Reporting Service leverages Nielsen’s PPM technology from nearly 77,000 installed panelists across 44 local TV markets who also use PPM for local radio measurement.

Nielsen is able to represent 65% of the TV U.S. household population through this reporting service; absent are such markets as Honolulu, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Fresno, and the fast-growing Greenville-Spartanburg market. New Mexico is not represented in any way in the national OOH reporting service; other states absent from the service include Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Vermont and Maine.

Furthermore, the Fort Myers-Naples, Fla., and McAllen-Brownsville, Tex., markets — both within the Top 60 — are measured just twice per year via diaries and thus not represented.

The McAllen market, which is also known as the “Rio Grande Valley,” has the highest concentration of Hispanic consumers in any given DMA. Thus, FOX Deportes OOH data from Nielsen’s national data is only a limited representation of the networks’ total potential out-of-home audience.