Nobody seems to know how many people watch TV shows these days — and that should terrify the ad business

The Olympics are bringing a thorny issue to the surface for the TV industry.

Why is it so challenging to measure viewership on digital platforms?

Challenge #1 — Content overload: NBC will air 2,400 hours of the Olympics on TV and 1,800 hours will be streamed live.

Challenge #2 — Fragmentation of channels: TV content will air on NBC, CNBC, SyFy and NBCSN. Digital content will air in multiple app environments including Roku, Amazon Fire, Xbox, Apple TV and DirecTV Now.

There will be 750 different ways that people can watch the Olympics through TV/streaming!

In 2016, NBC was offering separate guarantees for TV and streaming. In 2018, they are offering a single “total audience” guarantee.

Measuring streaming along with TV would have added 1.7Mnightly viewers to the total in 2016.

Quote from Dan Lovinger — EVP for Ad Sales @ NBC Sports:
“A viewer is a viewer, regardless of what platform they’re watching on,”

Audience for Sunday night (February 11th) w/ % of total:
1) TV — 22.7M (87%)
2) Streaming — 3.3M (13%)

NBC is using multiple vendors to calculate “total audience delivery”:
1) Nielsen
2) Adobe
3) FreeWheel (Comcast)
4) Oracle

More. Sunday swoon? Where people miss the point on NFL ratings

State of the Screens

Welcome to State of the Screens. Our goal is to summarize the top trends and must-read articles that touch on the convergence of television and digital advertising.

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