B&B and Y&R Ratings to Be Accessible As CBS and Nielsen Reach New Deal
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Daytime soap operas indirectly affected by dispute.
Updated: January 14: An announcement by CBS and Nielsen revealed that both parties have reached an agreement in order to continue to provide national, digital and local ratings. Though no terms were revealed, Deadline is reporting a statement from CBS Corp’s president and acting CEO Joe Ianniello, “We are very pleased with this new agreement we were able to achieve with Nielsen. It meets our strategic goals, and will allow us to benefit from important advances in measurement as they are rolled out. CBS programming is perennially the most-watched content rated by Nielsen, and there is significant upside ahead as next-generation advertising continues to flourish.”
On January 9, Soaps.com reported that CBS’ Television City studios were sold and has now learned that the network giant is in a dispute with the Nielsen ratings company. CBS’ contract with Nielsen, which provides the network with valuable ratings data both historical and present, expired on January 1 2019.
Variety received a statement about the ongoing issue from CBS, which said, “The entire media industry is aware of the need for complete and accurate measurement across platforms. While Nielsen has made some strides in this area, progress has not been what we and many clients would like, and local TV measurement is particularly challenged. Despite this backdrop, Nielsen continues to use their market power to bundle disparate services and raise prices for services that don’t sufficiently address ongoing changes in the industry. As a result, we are currently at a contractual impasse, although we continue to be open to negotiating a fair deal that makes strategic and financial sense for CBS. If we cannot come to an agreement with Nielsen, we will continue to employ the many viable alternatives available to us, including Comscore.”
While this doesn’t impact the broadcasts of The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless, it can affect the rates CBS charges advertisers both for its daytime and primetime line-ups. The Variety report explained that “CBS is believed to pay more than $100 million a year to Nielsen for access to its data, which is used across the TV industry as the bedrock element in deals with advertisers.” While TV networks contend that Nielsen hasn’t kept up new viewing trends as it should, especially as related to on-demand streaming, Nielsen has long been the standard for ratings measurement in the industry. Though millions of dollars are potentially at stake for both sides involved in the impasse, negotiations continue, and ratings for B&B and Y&R will continue to be available, though not through CBS.