TV Networks Seek Independent Audit of Nielsen Ratings During COVID

(Image credit: Nielsen)

NEW YORK—TV networks want to double check Nielsen’s numbers regarding TV ratings during the COVID-19 pandemic. A formal request for a third-party audit of Nielsen has been issued by the Video Advertising Bureau, which Variety first reported.

A letter sent from VAB CEO Sean Cunningham, which represents the TV networks, cites the “profound dissatisfaction and concerns with Nielsen’s handling of our industry’s month-long urging for rightsized remedies to shortfalls in the company’s COVID period TV usage and measurement data.”

VAB has been making the argument that Nielsen let its system degrade during lockdown, saying that the network of households the supply “usable” information shrunk by 20% between February 2021 and February 2021. VAB also claims that the number of homes registering no TV viewing at all rose 120%.

Nielsen has that it has full confidence in its reporting of numbers.

VAB is demanding that Nielsen submit to an audit from Ernst and Young to verify data from March 2020-March 2021. VAB wants a response from Nielsen by April 19.

For more information, read the full story on Variety