Nielsen to add online viewing of TV shows into ratings number

nielsen_logo.jpgStarting in fall 2010, the Nielsen ratings will be based not only on broadcast views but online views as well.

According to Variety, "Nielsen intends to introduce a service that will combine TV and online viewing of shows into a single rating." This is in response to network executives pressuring Nielsen to find a way to factor in online viewers to their ratings.

What does this mean for online viewers? Your viewing of a show does not count towards the ratings unless you watch a version that includes all the commercials from the television broadcast. This means services like Hulu or video on the network sites will not enter into the ratings because they carry usually one-quarter of the commercials the TV broadcast carries.

The programs this new system would work with are the Fancast Xfinity online video service launched in Dec. 2009 and the new TV Everywhere service that Time Warner Cable is testing. Nielsen plans to gather their online data from 7,500 of the 12,000 households in its National People Meter Sample.

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Photo credit: Nielsen