Skip to content
News Center >

Statement On Recent Media Coverage of Nielsen’s TV Ratings and Program Frequency Reporting

2 minute read | September 2011


Media Relations: Matt Anchin, +1 646 654 5445
Investor Relations: Liz Zale, +1 646 654 4593

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 – Recent trade media reportage of a Nielsen client notification on September 21 about a restatement of the Program Viewing Frequency metric in Nielsen’s NPower tool contained inaccurate facts and misleading information about the potential impact this could have on the sale of TV advertising. Some of these trade stories suggesting the TV advertising market could be affected were wrong; the TV advertising market remains unaffected.

The Program Viewing Frequency metric as reported by NPower measures the number of times viewers watched a program in a window of time selected by a user. The Program Viewing Frequency metric produced by NPower is not connected to buying platforms used for TV advertising and should be distinguished from the TV commercial ratings known as “C3” which are used for that purpose.

Since 2007, the TV industry has used commercial ratings, not program ratings, to negotiate the price of TV advertising. Nielsen developed C3 in consultation with clients and input from the industry to incorporate time-shifted viewing into TV ratings. C3 measures the average commercial minutes viewed during live programming plus three days of Digital Video Recorder (DVR), Video on Demand (VOD) and Internet playback.

Nielsen’s C3 ratings are accredited by and subject to the Media Rating Council’s rigorous audit process that ensures audience measurement services are valid, reliable and effective. Nielsen provides the TV advertising market with the most accurate, comprehensive and reliable audience measurement available.

The Program Viewing Frequency metric reported by NPower is not part of the C3 ratings.

About Nielsen
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit