Nielsen says set-top-box/return-path data coming from pay TV providers and other sources can underrepresent certain viewer groups -- in particular Hispanic and African-American homes, compared to other household types.
Compared with official U.S. Census estimates and Nielsen’s representative national panel, these homes -- many coming from cable, satellite and telco platforms -- underrepresent Hispanics by 33%, Spanish-language dominant Hispanics by 49% and African Americans by 34%.
Nielsen adds that when you compare set-top-box/return-path data homes with over-the-air/broadband only, the situation is even worse.
Set-top-box data measurement under-represents Hispanics by 50%, Spanish-language dominant Hispanics by 68% and African Americans by 38%.
Over-the-air TV and broadband-only homes have grown to 28 million in 2018 from 15 million in 2014, where it says “41% of the consumers in those 28 million homes are multicultural (either Hispanic, African American or Asian) and 10% are a younger demographic (18-24).”
Some of this has to do with “weighting” specific groups against other measures. Nielsen says, overall, “A large biased sample is still biased.”