CNBC to Stop Using Nielsen Numbers to Track Daytime Ratings

Even if you know nothing about how TV ratings work, you should at least be familiar with the term “Nielsen.” Nielsen ratings are what most TV networks use to calculate how many people are watching their shows. Well, business network CNBC has decided to no longer use Nielsen for their ratings, and is instead relying on the services of another company, Cogent Reports, a unit of Market Strategies International.

Why is CNBC no longer using Nielsen? Well, according to The Wall Street Journal, they think Nielsen is underreporting just how big its audience is, not accounting for “out of home viewing,” like if people are watching CNBC on a plane or in their offices.

It’s worth noting here that last June, it was observed that CNBC’s ratings sank to the lowest they’ve been since 1997.

CNBC President Mark Hoffman explained, “Nielsen has never measured us accurately. If we can’t count the people the right way we can’t get paid the right way.”

Now, it should be noted, this is only for daytime programming, CNBC reportedly still plans on using Nielsen for its primetime shows.

CNBC’s main rival, the Fox Business Network, plans to continue with Nielsen however — as one FBN executive told the Journal: “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.”

[image via CNBC]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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