Ratings system a focus at summit

TV execs talk about need to revamp

Unhappiness with audience measurement emerged as a dominant concern discussed by leading TV execs at the inaugural Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit.

While generally espousing a glass-half-full view of the smallscreen industry, toppers such as FX prexy and general manager John Landgraf continue to press for a ratings system superior to what Nielsen currently offers.

“It needs to be completely revamped,” Landgraf told the crowd at Loews Santa Monica hotel. “We have to follow viewers wherever they are. The simple fact that we can’t get any compensation for anyone who doesn’t watch within a three-day window is ridiculous … now that viewing takes weeks or months.”

NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios chairman Marc Graboff, who joined Landgraf, Twentieth TV chairman Dana Walden and Reveille managing director Mark Koops in discussing “The Television Ecosystem: Programming, Advertising and Multi-Platform Distribution Strategies,” hoped that the industry-spearheaded CIMM measurement system, now in development, might become a viable alternative — or at least spur improvements from Nielsen.

“It’s intended to really try to measure total audience consumption on any platform at any time,” Graboff said. “I think Nielsen kind of woke up when they saw the consortium trying to address this.”

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