The Nielsen Company just issued an update to clients reminding them that they will be going ahead with plans on the local data stream on Thursday. Sabrina Crow, SVP, Managing Director, Local Television Client Services, sent the following letter on 3/30:
Update on Nielsen’s Reporting of Data Streams in Local Markets
March 30, 2010
On December 16, 2009, we announced a three-month transition period for our plan to introduce the new Live+Same Day data stream in local markets. This transition period draws to a close on March 31, 2010, and I am writing to remind you of the changes that will take place effective April 1st.
To recap, beginning with the April 2010 survey (April 1, 2010 data):
• Nielsen will produce the TVS and Program Averages electronic data files for the Live+Same Day, Live+3, and Live+7 data streams for each of Nielsen’s LPM and Set Meter markets;
• We will discontinue the Live Only data stream in our LPM markets in these same electronic data files.
• Clients will continue to have to access to Live Only data via the comparative data that are distributed on a weekly and monthly basis, via the Local Custom Toolbox and through custom analyses. Additionally in order to increase the effectiveness of these reports and the ease with which they can be used we will immediately make several formatting changes to the weekly comparative data files which compare Live+Same Day to Live.
This change will provide a consistent set of data for all LPM and Set Meter markets, as well as matching the data streams in our overnight deliverables (Arianna and Local Dailies). This treatment is consistent with what we have laid out previously in communications on October 13th and November 9th (for your convenience a copy is attached).
All of us at Nielsen would like to thank our clients for the substantive and extensive input we have received over the past many months. As you know, there are very diverse opinions about the plan we are implementing. Ultimately we made our decision based upon our extensive review of data that showed that the three data streams to be supplied (Live+Same Day, Live+3 and Live+7) provide the best gauge of viewing. It should also be noted that for primetime programming the gap between Live and Live+Same Day is growing and Live is moving further away from C3 while Live+Same Day is moving closer. After extensive consultation and hundreds of meetings across the full spectrum of the industry, we believe that a large majority of the industry favors this approach.
Please contact your Nielsen Client Services representative if you have any questions.
SVP, Managing Director, Local Television Client Services
Pat Liguori, SVP/Research, ABC Television Stations tells RBR-TVBR: “We are disappointed that Nielsen will continue to make Live Only data available, especially now that Live+Same Day is proving to be more closely aligned with C3 than is Live Only.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It looks like Nielsen has made a few concessions with the agencies on this move regarding the Live stream accessibility. Remember, we had reported that many of the buyers were upset with the move because if Nielsen was unable to report two sets (Live and Live + Same Day) of overnights then it should not switch to Live + Same Day. In essence, that move would have been declaring that the de facto currency. Also, media agencies have said if the marketplace went from live to live-plus-same-day, the ratings would go up about 13%. But of that 13%, 60% to 70% is fast-forwarded. Clients would be paying extra for programs that are not generating commercial exposure. It had gotten so contentious that Marc Goldstein, President and CEO, Group M and Chair, 4A’s Media Policy Committee, penned a letter on the topic last November to Susan Whiting, Chairman of Nielsen Media Research.