ESPN partners with Nielsen to track multiple platforms

ESPN and Nielsen have announced a new collaboration to measure the performance of ESPN’s sports programming across multiple media platforms.

The collaboration, the companies said, will enable buyers and sellers of TV advertising on ESPN’s sports programs to understand more completely the interaction of new digital platforms with traditional TV viewing.

The measurement will include broadcast television, the Internet and a wide range of mobile media devices. Nielsen, through its new NielsenConnect division, will attempt to produce a unified picture of how viewers are accessing media content across platforms.

The core component of the initiative will include the first deployment of Nielsen’s new TV/Internet Convergence Panel, a group of about 1000 households that will simultaneously report their TV usage via Nielsen’s TV people meters and their Internet usage via NetRatings’ NetSite personal computer meter.

The convergence panel is being recruited from a sample of new households being chosen to test the impact of Internet measurement on compliance with Nielsen’s existing people meter ratings system. It will also include panelists retiring from Nielsen’s national and local people meter services.

ESPN is seeking new insights on the viewing of its sports programming and the messages of its advertisers. The network hopes to learn how video content generates ad revenue across conventional TV, online and mobile platforms, as well as acquire a greater understanding of the overlaps that occur across platforms. The research will be analyzed via various demographic and TV market breaks.