Ratings? What Ratings?
CNBC, the financial news network, is done with daytime Nielsen ratings.
“They are no longer guaranteeing the business day, which is the most important daypart for a financial client,” a source told Adweek. “They believe that their primary business day viewing is done in offices and therefore not monitored by Nielsen and underrepresented.”
And to some extent, that’s probably the case. The smaller a network’s audience, the less accurate its Nielsen ratings are going to be, and the ratings for CNBC have gotten ever-smaller in the last few years, as have ratings at its competitors. The network will continue to guarantee in prime time.
But, of course, CNBC is also one of the few networks for which daytime ratings aren’t a particularly accurate measure of relevant reach. Monitors throughout the Goldman Sachs building play the network to their wealthy executives. The network’s show Squawk on the Street broadcasts from inside the New York Stock Exchange. If you work in the financial world—a small world, but one with nearly unlimited spending money—CNBC is ubiquitous in gyms, hotels and elsewhere among areas frequented by bankers and traders.
It’s a risky move. Whatever beef, legitimate or not, the network has with Nielsen’s ability to accurately measure its business day ratings, the optics of withdrawing a guarantee on those numbers is going to make more noise than the negativity of the ratings themselves. FBN will make much hay of this development.