OK, maybe you’d already guessed that, but The Nielsen Company now has viewer data on what people are watching out-of-home. And it’s not just sports, but also “House,” “Moment of Truth” and “The Bachelorette,” to name just three of the network shows that scored big in the first monthly all-electronic national TV ratings from Nielsen and Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI).
Some 3,000 people – 500 in each of six markets – are carrying cell phones provided by IMMI which monitor digital signatures of audio sources, such as radio, TV and movies, then matches them to the actual telecasts. The service currently has two charter clients, ESPN and Zenith Media. In addition to the national service, Nielsen plans later this year to begin offering local data in the six markets: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver.
“Until now, no one has been able to provide on-going 24/7 national measurement of television viewing that takes place outside the home. Working with IMMI, Nielsen can now capture out-of-home viewing and provide a more complete picture of how people are watching television,” said Sara Erichson, Executive Vice President, Media Client Services, for the Nielsen Company.
"Zenith believes firmly in following the video. In a mobile society, viewership isn’t just about people sitting in the living room gathered around the set,” said Wendy Marquardt, President, Zenith Media US.
As you would expect, NBC’s broadcasts of the 2008 Bejing Summer Olympics scored huge numbers in out-of-home viewing. But Fox’s “House” was right up there with ESPN’s “Home Run Derby” for non-Olympic viewing in such places as offices, fitness clubs, hotels and bars.