Facing Backlash, Nielsen Reverses Delay of Out of Home Audience Measures

Despite a pandemic that has forced many Americans to shelter at home, Nielsen will follow through on its plans to chase TV viewers in bars, hotels and offices after all.

After meeting with a storm of criticism from TV networks, Nielsen is expected to reverse its recent decision to delay the inclusion of so-called “out of home” viewers in its tabulation of national TV ratings, a sign of just how important counting that audience is to some of the nation’s biggest traditional media companies.

Nielsen held conversations Friday with several senior executives at top TV outlets, according to six people familiar with the matter. The media-measurement giant has informed those networks and others it now intends to count out-of-home viewers during the fall season as it had originally planned, these people said. An apology from Nielsen to its clients is expected as part of the discussions,according to three of these people.

A Nielsen spokesman was unable to offer immediate comment. ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, Fox Corp. WarnerMedia and Walt Disney could not make executives available to discuss the matter.

More to come…

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