Thursday, March 13, 2008

Charter Goes Nielsen

"The Nielsen Co. has struck a deal with Charter Communications to analyze set-top box data from 330,000 homes in the Los Angeles area, the parties said today.

Nielsen has similar agreements with other undisclosed MSOs but the Charter deal goes a step further in that it licenses the ratings company to also create ratings reports from the data that it can then sell to clients. Nielsen said such reports would be available to clients starting in the second quarter of 2008. Adweek is a unit of Nielsen.

Charter struck a similar deal in November 2006 with Nielsen competitor TNS Media Research, which sells reports based on the Charter set-top box data to clients via a syndicated package it calls TotalView. Publicis Groupe's Starcom was the first media agency to sign up and other buyers and sellers of TV time have signed up since then.

Set-top box viewing data has attracted a lot of interest from agencies and their clients who are looking for more detailed analyses about the TV viewing patterns of the consumers they reach with ads. Set-top box data has the potential to offer more detail because it offers a second-by-second look at how viewers watch, as opposed to the minute-by-minute view offered by the current Nielsen national ratings service."

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