In your must read for the week Ad Age’s Andrew Hamp writes about a three to four week lag under the new Live+3/C3 ratings system will require to get accurate numbers to the networks. This means that the ratings numbers you are going to be seeing the day after a program airs are not the actual final numbers networks will be using as one of the tools to benchmark ad rates! Which begs the question, will the networks beat each other over the head with numbers that won’t be used as a sales tool? (hat tip to TVbytheNumbers for supplying the tip)
But more accountability requires more patience, as buyers and networks now must wait up to four weeks for the results of their C3 ratings. Nielsen spokeswoman Anne Elliot said for the program week ending Sept. 30, the average commercial-minute data file is expected to be released on Monday, Oct. 22. If that seems long, it’s only an additional week longer than it used to take to measure average program ratings, the previous Nielsen standard.
It should be noted that live program ratings are still available the next day via Nielsen’s Fast Affiliate rankings, which give a snapshot of the size of the audience each network attracted for a certain time slot. When the industry negotiated on program ratings, that number gave advertisers a pretty good idea of how many people were available to see their ad. But with the industry’s focus now on commercial ratings, it will be a four-week wait to find out if the audience stuck around for your spot.