Nielsen to release syndie-aud reports

NEW YORK — Nielsen Media Research has agreed to issue several new reports on the viewing of syndi-cated TV, after complaints from the Advertiser Syndicated Television Assn., a trade group of ad-supported syndie programmers.

Among new data expected this year is a network/syndication share-of-viewing report, which compares viewing trends among network, cable and syndication; a persons-tracking report for syndication ratings and demos over several sweeps periods; and a new cume study, designed to measure syndication’s reach to target audiences at vari-ous ad-spending levels. The last such cume study was conducted in 1989, and share-of-viewing reports currently cover only network and cable TV.

“This is stuff we’ve been hammering at them for some time about, and they finally figured out we mean it,” said Tim Duncan, exec director of ASTA, whose own estimates show that syndication represents 20% of total TV viewing and 35% of broadcast viewing.

The changes are designed to lure more advertisers to syndication with more audience data. “We’re looking to give people an easy handle,” Duncan said.

“Being able to look at the data across all viewing sources is what ASTA’s asking for, and for obvious reason,” said Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus, who described meetings with Duncan as “very productive.”

Nielsen confirmed all three reports were expected this year, with the tracking report scheduled for spring and the others by the start of the 1997-98 TV season.

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