For decades the name of American company Nielsen has been synonymous with measuring TV ARs (audience ratings). Last week saw reports that a new consortium – Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) – was formed to challenge Nielsen’s dominance in the market, particularly as online viewing becomes more of a factor.
This week Broadcasting & Cable reports that Time Warner has concluded a new seven year contract with Nielsen. But Time Warner is also a member of CIMM, along with Viacom, NBC Universal, News Corp., Discovery, CBS and Disney Co.
Industry speculation is that Time Warner’s signing the Nielsen contract is a way of bringing the latter to the negotiation table, especially in the era of the Internet and the set top box.