NBC Voices ‘Deep Concerns’ Over ‘Bad, Inaccurate and Misleading’ New Nielsen System

Network Ad Sales boss Linda Yaccarino takes issue with new Total Content Ratings


NBC isn’t sold on Nielsen’s new Total Content Ratings measurement, saying it fails in its ambition to track viewers across all platforms, not just TV.

In a letter sent to Nielsen and obtained by TheWrap, NBC Ad Sales boss Linda Yaccarino expressed “deep concerns” over the product and said she doesn’t want it to be released any time soon. Yaccarino is all in favor of tracking viewership across multiple platforms, but said Nielsen’s new measurement won’t get the job done.

Yaccarino also said TCR’s “premature release is irresponsible,” adding that the system is “bad, inaccurate and misleading.” Nielsen plans a wide release of the product on March 1.

Here’s a snapshot of the most damning part of the executive’s note, laying out NBC’s grievances with TCR:


Nielsen replied in a statement to TheWrap:

Nielsen stands behind our Total Audience Measurement. Total Content Ratings is on schedule to syndicate data on March 1st, at which time Nielsen clients will be able to use the data for external purposes. Up until this time, the data being released to publishers and, subsequently, to agencies is for internal evaluation only. 

Since January 2016, Nielsen has been working with publishers through various implementations of the components of Total Content Ratings and Digital Content Ratings. Currently, dozens of TV and digital media brands are enabled for TV, VOD or Digital measurement inside of Nielsen’s Total Audience measurement framework. Nielsen does not stipulate which measurements clients should enable, nor the order in which they should enable them. Total Audience Measurement is designed to provide media owners with utmost flexibility to enable the components based on their business priorities. 

Since the beginning of the year, Nielsen has met regularly with members of our Senior Research Council, which is comprised of 25 of our largest television and agency clients, to discuss the implementation and rollout of Nielsen’s Total Audience measurement system.  We continue to enhance and refine our product with ongoing updates as we work with clients during this period of evaluation. Nielsen is working across business functions with our clients during this period of evaluation. We do not underestimate the importance of the rigor of this work, as clients use our metrics to make decisions on content, programming, distribution, and as a currency for ad planning and settlement.