NBC Universal is taking the unusual step of giving advertisers cash back for primetime ratings shortfalls from last season. The move is a departure for NBC, which like other broadcast networks typically gives advertisers additional TV spots, called make goods, when ratings fall short of expectations.
The fourth-place network is in a steeper ratings depression than its peers, with no standout new shows in the fall season, say media buyers. That makes it harder for NBC to make up ratings shortfalls by giving away additional commercial air time. The reimbursements were reported by Mediaweek this week.