NBCU's Yaccarino Blasts Nielsen Inaccuracies

LAS VEGAS -- Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCUniversal, didn’t mince words about Nielsen accuracy when it comes to TV viewership: It’s real bad.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show here on Thursday,  she said: “Imagine you’re a quarterback, and every time you threw a touchdown, it was only worth four points instead of six. That’s basically what I’m dealing with every friggin’ day.”

“It’s unfair to marketers, it’s unfair to content creators, and it’s up to all of us in this industry to take a stand,” she said. “We need to reach beyond a C3 rating.”

A year ago, NBC made the decision to stop subscribing to Nielsen for its daytime programming on CNBC, given its large inaccuracies.



“Nothing bad happened,” she said. “The sky didn’t fall. The network didn’t go off the air. In fact, marketers love that they’ve finally got an accurate picture of their audience.”

For NBC prime time, however, many problems remain.

For example, she said “Blindspot” is a show that is missing some 700,000 18-49 viewers. “And, to get those totally wrong numbers, I have to wait three weeks for C3 delivery. It’s insane,” she said.

The current C3 ratings -- the live average commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing -- isn’t enough in a growing detailed digital media world that continues to offer up more granularity about media users/viewers.

“What does a C3 rating tell you anyway? Almost nothing. Age, gender, maybe? It’s practically useless. But that’s TV.”

1 comment about "NBCU's Yaccarino Blasts Nielsen Inaccuracies".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 8, 2016 at 12:18 p.m.

    Assuming that Nielsen measures it accurately, a C3 rating tells you about most---though not all--- of your audience. However, Linda is perfectly right. All of the audience should be "counted" and reported by Nielsen.

    The problem, aside from Nielsen's many other problems, is that some of the digital platforms which provide the "unmeasured" viewers for many network shows may be suspect as regards the audience's attentiveness, especially to commercials. Just measuring whether people "see" the shows under such circumstances may not resolve this question. Alas, a bit of "validation" work is probably needed before advertisers---the smarter ones, that is----are willng to pay the same dollars per head for every digital viewer as they pay for C3 viewers.

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