NBC Local TV Moving From Ratings To Impressions

Starting this week, all local TV stations owned by NBC and Telemundo will stop using traditional ratings points to measure campaign effectiveness, in favor of the cost-per-impression (CPM) method.

Nearly all media except local TV and radio adopted the CPM model some time ago, points out Axios, which first reported the new policy for NBC/Telemundo local outlets, based on obtaining an agency pitch document.

"Consumers no longer only watch TV in a traditional linear fashion -- rating points only measure linear television," the document states, according to Axios. "Local TV needs to measure video viewing across all platforms."

Using the “antiquated” ratings system has made it harder for local TV stations to sell the digital audiences for their own website and app offerings along with their linear inventory, notes the report.

Further, media buyers have been unable to target people in remote areas that aren’t large enough to create a ratings point.

Kathy Doyle, executive vice president of local investment at Magna Global, is quoted as saying her agency appears to be the first to buy local broadcast on impressions, and that most other agencies are planning to start doing so in 2020.

The “entire ecosystem” will follow once a few buyers shift to this practice, notes Axios, which quotes Frank Comerford (above), chief revenue officer and president of commercial operations for NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, calling this a “game changer” for local TV.

"We need to do this, and should’ve done it a long time ago, but no one wanted to upset the apple cart,” he said. “But now, the risk isn’t upsetting marketplace, it’s missing the marketplace."
2 comments about "NBC Local TV Moving From Ratings To Impressions".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, September 14, 2019 at 4:57 a.m.


    Ratings points only measure linear television.   Oh really?

    Impressions measure the reach ... watched for at least one second (or similar).   TV can do that as well - audience reach (generally on a one minute threshold).   As everyone knows reach > average audience (which can be expressed as rating points).   So what if linear TV switches to reach as well ... then you will have a bigger (less meaningful) number to compete with.

    Further reach (i.e. impressions when properly reported) is asymptotic maximising at 100%.   Measure it over a long enough period of time and everyon will be approaching 100%.   Add them together and everyone will exceed 100% - which is, as well all know, is impossible.

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC replied, September 14, 2019 at 11:07 a.m.


    I don’t know where you found
    the patience to comment.

    Sounds like crazy time at NBC Stations.

    It hardly makes for good “impressions!”


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