Advertisers who buy cable locally need to know that local cable commercials are not seen in the majority of ADS homes. To get an accurate reach of a local cable ad schedule in these markets, the ADS percentage of the audience must be deducted if they are included in cable’s ratings submissions.
According to Nielsen data, national ADS penetration reached an all-time high in July 2012, reaching 31.2% of television households. Many individual markets have even higher ADS penetration.
Here is a look at an example in the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA market. When ADS is deducted, ad-supported cable delivers a fraction of the "All Cable" rating:
Nielsen makes available hard-wired local cable numbers, excluding ADS homes, via its Total Viewing Sources DVD.
The printed Nielsen books do not break out ADS, and many third-party processors used for Nielsen ratings don’t accommodate the Total Viewing Sources DVD.
Make sure your local cable buys are based on the right data. Be aware of ADS. Ask for hard-wired cable ratings.