Set-Top-Box Lexicon: The DVR Begets C3 Ratings

CIMM is taking a pro-active role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both its Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with Set-Top Box data measurement) and the soon to be released Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset identification terms). These documents form the basis of the Word-A-Week column which offers a common language for Set-Top Box nomenclature that can expedite the roll-out of the data for its many industry applications

The advent of the DVR (The PVR and DVR) is credited not only with increasing the ways a viewer can access and view content. It has also spawned new measurement metrics that are based on when a piece of content is viewed, whether the playback occurs within the same broadcast day as the live airing, a day later, a week later and up to as much as two weeks later. What is the optimum and fairest playback length of time for a rating? That is still under discussion, but the industry standard of the acceptable outlying time frame is playback three days hence.



The introduction of the C3 rating and its immediate inclusion into the currency without accreditation is somewhat controversial and is still viewed among some as a stop gap measurement towards full individual commercial ratings. Of course that would require the use of second by second viewing / tuning data, attainable through STB data.

In honor of the launch of upfront this week, we endeavor to define the C3 rating

C3 Rating

CIMM DEFINITION : A term used to represent the average of a live rating for a (national) commercial minute and up to three days of DVR playback viewing.

2 : The average commercial minute rating for live programming plus three days of DVR playback. (Source: Nielsen)

3 : The average commercial second rating including live tuning to a  program plus 75 hours of DVR playback. (Source: TRA)

Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.

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