CNBC Inks Deal Based On Nielsen, Rentrak Data

CNBC has signed an upfront deal with agency MPG on behalf of its client Fidelity that offers dual guarantees, based on both Nielsen and Rentrak data. Agreed to during the calendar upfront market, CNBC has guaranteed Fidelity certain audience delivery figures in both the adult 25-to-54 demo (from Nielsen data) and households with incomes of $150,000-plus (from Rentrak).

If either figure is not met, CNBC has to provide makegoods. Yet over time, the network could attract more dollars from advertisers targeting upscale audiences by promising the household-income results. 

The Nielsen data comes from its national panel, while the Rentrak information is culled from set-top-box data, which is combined with income-level information provided by Epsilon.

This marks the first deal MPG has done using Rentrak data as a guarantee -- a watershed for Rentrak, which has said the TV market has room for more than one data set. Nielsen is moving ahead with plans to offer ratings culled partly from set-top-box data on a local level. But it has no plans to abandon its traditional sample in the national market, despite cries for data to come from larger pools of viewers. 



Robert Foothorap, a senior vice president in sales at CNBC, said that the network is open to “customizable” deals fitting client goals.

Fidelity CMO Jim Speros said that a dual-guarantee approach offers “another level of depth to our measurement, which ultimately provides greater accountability.” 

In October, NBCUniversal researcher Sheryl Feldinger gave a presentation showing that Rentrak data can provide more stable performance data for CNBC -- less volatility over a specified period -- since it is culled from more homes than are in Nielsen’s panel.

“We'd love to see more networks, particularly cable news networks, subscribe to Rentrak to give clients, such as ours, a more qualified look at the upscale targets that are central to our marketing success,” said MPG Senior Vice President Tracey Riener.


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