NBC Universal on Thursday announced plans to conduct broad research into consumer cross-platform behavior during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
For the initiative, NBCU will partner with various research providers. Arbitron, for one, is helping the network create what it's calling "statistically projectable single source measurement" of television and Internet use.
In addition, NBCU will again issue a daily Total Audience Measurement Index (TAMi) to measure total Olympic exposure across all media platforms throughout the 17 days of coverage.
"No other media event gives us such an enormous amount of content that is consumed by so many people, across so many different platforms, for such a long period of time," said Alan Wurtzel, president of research, NBC Universal and Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. "From a research perspective, it's a fast-forward two or three years ahead in furthering our understanding of media behavior."
NBCU led similar research effort during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In addition to tracking consumer behavior, the research will incorporate various methodologies to demonstrate to advertisers the effectiveness of their Olympics buy.
In addition, NBCU will rely on Keller Fay's TalkTrack service to measure all forms of Olympic "word of mouth," including face-to-face, phone and Internet communication. This portion of the research will rely on 8000 consumer interviews conducted before and during the Olympics, and is designed to help NBCU analyze the role of social networking and its impact on the Olympic "experience."
As it did in Beijing, NBCU is tapping iMMi to track individual consumers' Olympic exposure across all media platforms. Panelists will be expected to carry an iMMi phone that will measure their Olympic viewing on television, online and on their mobile devices.
The iMMi study is expected to measure viewing across all NBCU properties and exposure to nearly 100 different Olympic sites, and provide information on the particular video being viewed.
TiVO, meanwhile, will help NBCU use set top box data to measure audience retention for both Olympic programming and commercials over the course of the Games.
Dispelling reports that NBC will lose upwards of $200 million on the 2010 Winter Olympics, the network said it expects total sales revenue to fall in line with the previous Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City ($740 million), and Turin, Italy ($930 million).