Advanced Television

The Weather Channel sues Nielsen

March 17, 2022

By Chris Forrester

The Weather Channel is unhappy with ratings assessments from Nielsen. The channel, owned by CF Entertainment and Bryon Allen’s media conglomerate, is alleging that Nielsen suffers a flaw in its systems.

The action, which was lodged in an Illinois court on March 16th, argues that Nielson cannot handle the complexity of today’s viewing habits.

“[The] fragmentation of viewership has eroded the reliability of Nielsen’s panel system. Nielsen has known about the problems for years but has not invested to make its ratings system reliable and up-to-date,” states the action.

Nielsen is supervised and regulated as far as its measurements are concerned by The Media Rights council – which last August suspended Nielsen’s accreditation over local and national TV measurements and determined that Nielsen significantly underreported viewership according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Following on from an internal audit Nielsen admitted that it had missed some out-of-home viewing over a 16-month period up until December 2021.

The Weather Channel’s lawsuit alleges that $700 million (€634.1m) was lost to the industry in ad-revenues.

“Nielsen did not capture these viewers for much of the reporting period and for many of the primetime slots,” the complaint states. “Because advertisers condition payments for commercials on the number of viewers who watch commercials, Nielsen’s failure to capture viewership on the ESN Networks damaged Entertainment Studios.”

Nielsen is being bought by a consortium of private equity investors for some $15 billion.

Categories: Articles, Policy, Regulation

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