MRC suspends accreditation of Nielsen local TV services

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 
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MRC Statement on Pending Changes to Accreditation Statuses of Nielsen Television Services

  • Changes to Become Effective in Mid-September

NEW YORK, NY — The Media Rating Council (MRC) announced today that the MRC Board of Directors has voted in favor of the following actions:

  • To suspend the MRC accreditation of Nielsen’s National Television service.
  • To remove the current accreditation hiatus status designation from Nielsen’s Local People Meter and Set Meter Markets services, and to suspend accreditation for these markets.

An accreditation suspension may be imposed by MRC when an accredited service has been documented to have material standards non-compliance or operational issues that are deemed to have exerted an adverse effect on the service. Under MRC procedures, a formal notification of the possibility of suspension is required to be provided to the service 30 days in advance of a suspension officially taking effect. In this instance, Nielsen was informed of the possibility of a suspension action on August 12th for the National Television service, and on August 20th for the Local Market services.

Regarding the Board’s decisions concerning the Local Market services, the Board chose to end the hiatus status that had existed for those markets since January 2021 after Nielsen’s confirmation to MRC on August 17th of its intention to add Broadband-Only (BBO) homes to its local panels in October 2021. Based on continuing issues with the Local Market services, some of which parallel those of the National Television service, as well as the Board’s assessment of Nielsen’s ability to appropriately integrate BBO viewing at a local market level at this time, the Board additionally suspended the accreditation for the Local Markets as well.

“While we are disappointed that the situation has come to this, we believe these are the proper actions for the MRC to take at this time,” said George W. Ivie, Executive Director and CEO of the MRC. “MRC’s Board of Directors, which represents an extremely broad range of industry constituencies, and includes advertisers, agencies, and media companies of all types, is strongly unified in its positions on these matters. MRC stands committed in our willingness to work with Nielsen toward the goal of being able to restore accreditation to these important services at the earliest possible time, and it is our hope that Nielsen likewise will continue to engage with MRC and its clients in pursuit of that goal.”

Links: Media Rating Council; Nielsen