Nielsen miscalculation costs TV networks at least $350 million, trade group says


According to a report released today by the Video Advertising Bureau, Nielsen’s undercounting of TV viewing outside the home revealed at the end of last year was far worse than what the advertising giant reported. the measure originally pointed to and disproportionately missed young black and Hispanic viewers.

The VAB said Nielsen’s recount shows $350 million in lost network revenue so far and suggests the overall total will be more than $700 million.

Subscribe to Ad Age now for the latest industry news and analysis.

“We have reviewed the information shared by the VAB today, and while we acknowledge the underestimation of some of our national out-of-home audiences, we stand by our previous statements that the scale of the problem was very low for the majority of TV shows,” a Nielsen spokesperson said via email.

In bad news during a holiday week, Nielsen reported on Dec. 22 that out-of-home viewing was not reported for broadband-only households in nationwide audience metrics from September 2020 through December 2021.

Nielsen has since restated half of the 16 months in question, according to the VAB, and the results show a far greater impact than previously disclosed.

Overall, the restated months so far indicate a loss of $350 million in ad revenue for the networks, according to the VAB, and since those months represent less than half of the total undercount period, the group estimates the total impact at more than $700 million.


About Author

Comments are closed.