TVB Calls for Transition to Impressions-based Local TV Currency


Urges Industry Implementation by January 2020

New York, September 17, 2019 – Television Bureau of Advertising, Inc. (TVB), the trade association of America’s local broadcast television industry, announced today it is leading an industry charge to convert local broadcast audience measurement from a ratings-based to an Impressions-based measurement system. Local TV broadcasters have coalesced around making this currency shift, and TVB is spearheading the initiative to educate all stakeholders, including media agencies, on the advantages of moving from ratings to Impressions, and to provide guidance on the implementation.

“As technology continues to weave its way into how and where we watch local broadcast television, it’s imperative for the industry to measure the entire audience, no matter where they watch,” said Steve Lanzano, president and CEO of TVB. “The use of Impressions simplifies how we evaluate media across platforms and makes it easier to include local TV in the cross-platform consideration set.”

Ratings performed well in the past era of limited media platforms, large audiences and a simpler audience universe. Now, in the era of multiple platforms, the way to evaluate viewership must also evolve. The use of Impressions ensures that all viewers on all screens are counted.

Julio Marenghi, President, Sales, CBS Television Stations remarked, “We welcome the switch from ratings to Impressions-based measurement here at the CBS Television Stations. We see this as the future currency and have already started working with clients using CPM modeling, giving us the ability to compete with other mediums. Spot TV has a history of CPM usage that went away and can now return to help keep local TV in the conversation with advertisers.”

Impressions recognize all TV audiences, resulting in the inclusion of a greater variety of programs – both extending reach and providing greater targeting for advertisers. Additionally, Impressions allow for more precise reporting of program performance and post-buy evaluation.

Moving to Impressions will facilitate and enhance the benefits of Automated TV, which takes the friction out of the local TV buy/sell process and paves the way for more sophisticated use of audience data.

In support of Impressions-based currency, President of the ABC Owned Television Stations Wendy McMahon said,” The strength of our owned stations is in our commitment to serving our local communities across platforms. We see the transition from ratings to Impressions as aligned with the consumer shift to cross-platform viewing, a shift we have taken advantage of to grow total audience. We look forward to enabling our advertisers to have full visibility of that local audience and to extending the overall reach of their messaging.”

Kathy Doyle, EVP of Local Investment at MAGNA said, “IPG media agencies made the switch earlier in 2019. Not only was it simple to do so, but it has also given us a unique insight into true local audiences.”

Nielsen and Comscore already supply Impressions data to buyers and sellers. Local broadcast TV can continue to be planned on rating points while negotiated and purchased on Impressions – which is how network TV is currently handled.

About TVB
TVB is the not-for-profit trade association representing America’s $21 billion local broadcast television industry. Its members include over 800 individual television stations, television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters and associate members.

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Abby Auerbach, TVB

Matthew McQueen, DGC

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