Nielsen TV Measurement During COVID
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Nielsen TV Measurement During COVID

An explanation of the undercount

As widely reported in Ad Age and B&C, the Media Rating Council confirmed VAB’s assertion that Nielsen undercounted TV measurement during the COVID time period.

As Nielsen panel data is the standard currency the TV industry uses for buying and selling advertising, these discrepancies in measurement have significant implications for our $70 billion industry, particularly as we enter the ‘21/’22 TV upfront marketplace.

Need a quick catch-up on what happened, what the numbers say and the implications as you plan or negotiate buys for the coming year? 

In 5 clear charts, we explain:

  • What is the issue? How did Nielsen’s suspension of in-home visits during the COVID period affect the size and composition of their television panel, as well as reported total TV usage?
  • What was the impact to total TV usage once Nielsen resumed in-person panel maintenance in late-March 2021?
  • How this might impact your future negotiations - over the last 12 months, the undercounting of TV audiences due to panel maintenance issues may have cost the national TV marketplace up to an estimated 86 billion in P18-49 ad impressions and $2.3 billion in ad spend. Get the MRC-recommended rating adjustment factors.

VAB continues to advocate for transparency and accuracy on behalf of our members, as well as marketers who rely upon fair and accurate reporting to base their buying strategies.

Be informed as you head into your TV buy negotiations.

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