Numbers Games…

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint writes about CNBC deciding to stop using Nielsen…

Financial news network CNBC will no longer rely on TV ratings specialist Nielsen to measure its daytime audience, beginning later this year. Instead, it has retained marketing and research firm Cogent Reports for the task.

For years CNBC and its parent company, Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal, have complained that Nielsen underreports the size and wealth of its audience by failing to track “out of home” viewing in places such as offices and airports.

CNBC’s switch to Cogent is the latest barb for Nielsen, which has faced criticism from media companies that it has been slow to adapt its traditional ratings to changing media consumption habits. While many media companies say they are frustrated with Nielsen, CNBC is the first network to opt out of its ratings.

Aaaaand…cue the predictable reaction…

Explaining why Fox Business Network continues with Nielsen, Paul Rittenberg, executive vice president of advertising for the channel, said, “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.”

Indeed. CNBC is the canary in the coal mine. If it succeeds, others with similar beefs about Nielsen may follow. And make no mistake. This isn’t CNBC going rogue. This has all the signs of a Comcast blessed official trial balloon…

5 Responses to “Numbers Games…”

  1. harry1420 Says:

    why does neilson have to be the only ratings measuring game in town? All viewers should be counted. you can watch tv anywhere these days..on all kinds of devices. cnbc’s audience is mainly invesctors in offices…on cell phones..tablets..not folks at home rallying around the tv for the stock market report. you’d thing fox would be all for counting everyone as its ratings are piss poor and in the basement.

  2. “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.”

    ^^Wouldn’t that comment apply equally to FBN and it’s use of Nielson, and not Cogent, just as much as it does CNBC’s use of Cogent, over Nielson?

    Just sayin’.

  3. “Only using the numbers you like” isn’t even a logical narrative. CNBC is using a system which counts the same platform as Nielson, plus the other places people watch CNBC. FBN could just easily do the same thing, and just as easily still be in second place.

  4. identcity Says:

    CNBC US is using exactly the same argument that CNBC Europe used to pull out of the UK BARB ratings. It doesn’t seem to be hurting CNBC Europe.

  5. Xfinity has been pushing away-from-home viewing to its subscribers over the past year. It makes sense that a Comcast subsidiary is the first to drop the Nielson method in favour of a multi-platform measure. Comcast gets the online advertising viewing even when our away-from-home connection is through a different internet service provider.

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