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Nielsen Statement Regarding November 2016 Cable Network Coverage Area Universe Estimates

2 minute read | November 2016

New York, NY – Nov. 4, 2016 – Last Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, Nielsen released its November 2016 Cable Network Coverage Area Universe Estimates. These estimates represent the number of U.S. “Cable Plus” households in which each cable network is received. A Cable Plus household is a multichannel household that receives cable programming from a Wired Cable (i.e., traditional cable MSO), Telco or DBS provider.

On Sunday Oct. 30, 2016, out of an abundance of caution, Nielsen temporarily pulled back these estimates from release in order to investigate a larger than usual change as compared to the prior month. We take the accuracy of our data very seriously and determined the magnitude of change merited a thorough review of our processes to be certain that these estimates were produced correctly.

Nielsen has now completed an extensive review and has verified that November estimates were accurate as originally released and that all the processes that go into the creation of these estimates were done correctly. Accordingly, they will be re-released today to our clients and put into our production systems on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

The month over month decline in coverage that most cable networks saw was driven primarily by an overall decline of approximately half a percentage point (0.55) in the Cable Plus universe, meaning fewer households are subscribing to cable through the provider types listed above.

The decline was not specific to a network or group of networks, meaning, not driven by household changes in tiers or packages. In addition, Nielsen is researching new and emerging technologies and multichannel providers such as “virtual MVPDs” and will incorporate these households into the Cable Network Coverage Area Universe Estimate definition at a future date and in cooperation and agreement with our clients.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Ben Billingsley: (917) 826-1103