"The availability of a dual currency means agencies will be able to plan and post omitting any playback -- if they choose," said David Zornow, head of TNG Research and an influential cable TV industry researcher. " That doesn't mean much in September 2005 when Nielsen first starts to report DVR and only 10 percent of TV households have a DVR, but three years down the line when this stuff hits critical mass the difference promises to be significant."
Nielsen said it does not actually know what DVR penetration currently is, but said it could be as high as 10 percent by the end of 2005 and issued the following schedule for including DVR households:
*April, 2005-DVR homes can be installed
and measured in all local Metered Markets (excluding any installed Local People Meter markets)
* May, 2005-Diary samples will begin to be measured using an 8-day diary for DVR households to report DVR playback
* September 2005-DVR homes can be installed and measured in the National People Meter sample and in all Local People Meter samples. (This date was previously July 2005 but has been adjusted to accommodate changes to the National plan discussed later in this communication.)
The whole issue is expected to come to a head today, when Nielsen briefs clients on the new plan during a client meeting in New York.
"A number of clients requested that same day playback be included in the initial "live" overnight, and we spent considerable time evaluating this request," said Nielsen in its client communiqué on Wednesday. " We will not be able to include this feature in the first phase of reporting but it will be a top priority for a future release. In the interim, however, we will have the ability to provide clients with a "same day" rating (through 3:00 AM), on a custom basis for special events."