By Bill Duggan
Nielsen recently announced its decision to modify the reporting data streams made available in local television markets, with plans to eliminate the Live Only data stream from overnights and electronic data files and replace that with the new Live + Same Day stream. The ANA Television Advertising Committee strongly opposes the elimination of the Live Only stream and has requested that it be retained.
On the national level, the evolution from program ratings to average commercial ratings has been a positive step, but it is important to point out that on the local level program ratings continue to be used.
Therefore, the Live + Same Day stream does not take into consideration commercial skipping in DVR playback. So local commercial viewing would clearly be overstated.
Further, many advertisers and agencies negotiate local market deals with the media using Live Only ratings as their currency, and the removal of the Live Only stream obviously impacts such negotiations.
The Live Only stream is especially important to certain advertisers, including direct marketers, retailers, and those with a daypart-specific message (e.g., coffee in the early morning).
The ANA Television Advertising Committee has been a strong advocate for greater granularly in commercial ratings and encourages the industry to find a mutually beneficial solution for local ratings for advertisers, agencies, and the media.