Nielsen, Lilly Renew Ratings Vows As MRC Offers ‘DAR’ Update


The owner of television stations in the Twin Tiers of New York and Pennsylvania and in the company’s home market of Erie, Pa., has just signed a fresh multi-year agreement for local TV measurement with Nielsen.

The deal signed by Lilly Broadcasting includes Nielsen Scarborough, and incorporates not only the Erie and Elmira-Corning, N.Y. stations Lilly owns but also “WSEE-CBS,” the satellite-delivered CBS affiliate serving Puerto Rico.

“In this new agreement, Nielsen’s data will support Lilly Broadcasting’s ability to identify growth opportunities for audiences and revenue in their local markets,” Nielsen says, noting that its data helps companies like Lilly to “optimize their news, programming, and promotion efforts to serve their communities and exceed advertiser expectations.”

Catherine Herkovic, EVP/Managing Director at Nielsen Local TV, commented, “Lilly is a valued client, and we are thrilled that they have chosen us to be their audience data and insights provider. We are looking forward to empowering Lilly to showcase their value to advertisers, as they inspire and inform the communities that they serve.”

Why did Lilly choose Nielsen as the provider of local research over Comscore or another audience measurement and data analytics company? COO John Christianson cites Nielsen’s “ability to account for the entire marketplace.”

With Nielsen under Media Rating Council review following the suspension of its accreditations on September 1, that’s a strong endorsement.

As part of MRC’s “commitment to provide enhanced visibility into the state of various ongoing audit processes,” the group led by George Ivie on Monday (12/14) updated the current Council status of Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) service. DAR, which had been in an accreditation hiatus period from September 2020 to September 2021, is currently undergoing a new MRC audit.

At this time, the official MRC status of DAR is “Not Accredited, In Process.”

Prior to its hiatus from accreditation, DAR was accredited by MRC for its measurement of desktop display and video Total Gross Rating Points, and for age/sex demographic breakouts for audiences age 13+. The current audit of DAR is being conducted in phases, and will include auditing not only of DAR’s previously accredited measurement of desktop activity, but also its measurement of activity from mobile devices and connected TVs (CTV).

The first of the new audit’s reports, focused on Nielsen’s “Snapshot” Identity graph solution, which is now integrated into the DAR product, was delivered in November for
the MRC’s DAR audit committee’s consideration. Reports for additional phases of the DAR audit are scheduled to be delivered throughout the first half of 2022 (and likely into Fall 2022, for certain of the DAR CTV integrations).

Nielsen initially requested a hiatus period for DAR because of changes it planned to make to DAR’s measurement methodology in late 2020 and into 2021. This request was granted by MRC. Accreditation hiatus is a formal MRC status designation in which a service is allowed to temporarily step away from audits for up to 12 months to permit certain actions or service improvements to be implemented outside the normal audit and accreditation process.

MRC plans to issue updates on the statuses of other significant in-process audits in which we are engaged over the coming weeks and months, and additional updates on Nielsen DAR as events warrant.