ABC Agrees to Deal on ‘Live Only’; No DVR Audience Count

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This is symbolic, if slightly panicky reaction: ABC said it is prepared to negotiate with media agencies using the existing TV ratings metric of “live only,” meaning it will only charge marketers for viewers who watch programs when they are aired (and not for viewers who watch later using a DVR).
That was a sticking point doing upfront negotiations: Media agencies were united in their stand that they would only pay for live viewers, while the broadcast networks wanted to charge for those viewers who watched programs either later that same day (live plus same day) or later that week (live plus seven days).
ABC’s decision came on Monday morning, following news that rival networks had accepted the “live only” metric to kick start the dealing.
But what about people like us who have a DVR, wait 15 minutes into a program to start watching the show, yet don’t record, just rewind back using the remote and forward through commercials? As usual, TV advertising is a crapshoot at best…
WSJ: Calculating how many people are watching on a DVR isn’t hard. Since late last year, Nielsen has offered national TV-audience estimates that include viewers with DVRs. But plenty of research suggests that most of these DVR viewers are skipping through the ads. And even if people don’t skip, time-sensitive ads from retailers and fast-food advertisers may no longer be as effective, says Dave Wurfel, senior VP of brand advertising at Capital One Financial.

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