Comcast, Nielsen Team For On Demand Commercial Ratings

Fresher TV commercials, as well as measurement of those ads, are coming to time-shifted viewing -- perhaps first to Comcast’s video-on-demand service.

The U.S. cable operator has been testing the insertion of the most recent entire TV advertising lineups -- from the most current episodes of network TV shows -- into older available episodes that run on Comcast's OnDemand VOD service, as well as being able to account for those messages.

As part of this effort, Comcast is testing with Nielsen a new viewer measurement service called On Demand Commercial Ratings (ODCR) for its Xfinity TV platform.

Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, tested ODCR over the summer in Philadelphia and Boston in NBC and ABC programs. A Comcast company blog post outlined the technical tests. 

A number of industry efforts have tried to push so-called “dynamic ad insertion," which would allow new commercials to be inserted three days after their initial live airing. This allows cable operators to potentially charge more for commercials, as well as grab new revenue from commercials that are inserted after three days. Comcast has been doing dynamic ad insertion for some time.
Right now, national TV advertisers predominantly base and guarantee their media buys on the live average commercial ratings plus three days of program time-shifting. Currently, any time-shifted TV programming also retains the original commercials from its live broadcast.

Video-on-demand services/channels from the cable operators do not allow for fast-forwarding of commercials, unlike Internet-based video platforms, such as Hulu and Hulu Plus



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