The report is considered by the Advertiser Syndicated Television Association as an essential document to get into agency media buyers' hands as TV's upfront sales marketplace begins.
Nielsen has provided a tracking report for network TV for quite some time, "and getting one for syndication has been a major priority for us," said Tim Duncan, ASTA's executive director. "We've heard time and time again from agencies that it would be very useful to them."
Tracking reports are used by planners to see viewing trends.
"No doubt it can help the syndicators make their case if we can track certain demos easily over periods of time," said one buyer at a major agency.
DATA THROUGH 1ST QUARTER
The syndication report Nielsen will issue, around April 21, will include data from the last quarter of 1995 through first quarter '97.
Nielsen will begin issuing the syndication tracking report on a regular basis.
ASTA is about to join the cable TV industry in aggressively campaigning to get advertisers to spend less TV money on traditional broadcast networks. Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting Sales has been making such presentations to agencies.
ASTA also will release its own study, possibly this week, that will show advertisers can increase reach by substituting certain syndicated shows for selected network TV programming.
"The study shows that you can buy syndication in early prime and get efficient replacement weight for network prime time," Mr. Duncan said.
ASTA will publish its report and then make the round of agencies with its findings, he said, as the agencies prepare for the upfront marketplace.
ASTA SEES LEVELS GROW
One of the major points of the study, Mr. Duncan said, is that during daytime, among women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, syndication starts out slightly below network levels up to about 100 gross rating points but then, while network reach levels out, syndication grows.