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How Commercial Ratings Changed the $70 Billion TV Market

How Commercial Ratings Changed the $70 Billion TV Market

Commercial ratings became the currency of the $70 billion national TV market, replacing 65 years of program ratings.

October 13th, 2008 |

12 pages


By Claire Atkinson

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In 2007, after decades of lobbying by marketers, what had long been considered the holy grail of TV ad measurement seemed to have become a reality: Commercial ratings became the currency of the $70 billion national TV market, replacing 65 years of program ratings.

Instead of measuring the number of people watching the programs and using that as a proxy for the total number of advertising viewers, the marketing world would finally find out how many people were actually watching each commercial. Or at least that was the general idea. As the 2008-2009 TV season gets under way, advertisers still are not exactly sure how their TV efforts are faring under the new currency. This is, in part, because last year's numbers were atypical, affected as they were by a broadcast business that was saturated with repeats of old shows, largely as a result of the writers strike.


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