Nielsen Backs NBC's 'Heroes' Decision, Will Not Report Individual Telecasts

Nielsen is facing mounting pressure from clients to report the ratings for the individual telecasts of the double-run of the season premiere of NBC's "Heroes," but NBC isn't allowing it.

The show, which may well be the first and only to take advantage of a short-lived Nielsen ratings reprocessing loophole enabling to report the two successive airings as a single net audience rating, generated a stir that forced Nielsen to revise its policy to create more of a level playing field for other broadcast and cable networks, and to prevent future nightly ratings anomalies that would occur from obscuring the audience estimates for individual telecasts.

For the moment, Nielsen is backing NBC's request to preserve the consolidated rating of the multiple "Heroes" ratings, despite acute pressure from other clients who deem the ruling inequitable and inconsistent.

"They scheduled based on the rules that existed at the time, and as long as they want it to be reported that way, we will report it that way," a Nielsen insider says, adding, that while the issue is a "fairly contentious one," it ultimately will have little long term impact over network programming rankings.



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