The way you watch TV is changing and the Nielsen ratings system will finally change along with it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nielsen plans to roll out several key changes in a ratings measurement overhaul for the 2013 fall season.
THR reports the company will now measure what the 23,000 Nielsen families watch over broadband, via consoles like Xbox and Playstation and "over-the-top services." This move comes in an effort to correct what many see as a problem with the Nielsen system in measuring beyond just primetime TV viewing. A committee of representatives from TV networks, local TV stations, cable networks, ad agencies and advertisers reached the decision to expand the viewing measurement.
A second phase of the measurement program will be rolled out, with THR reporting the goal for Nielsen is to capture any type of video viewing.
These changes could help shows like "Community," which is known to do well via online viewing, but not in primetime.
Nielsen also recently announced a new viewing measurement for social media. Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will measure the total audience for social TV activity. This includes people participating in the tweeting and those exposed to the tweets. When it was announced, Nielsen said this will provide the "precise size of the audience and effect of social TV to TV programming."
News of this new Nielsen ratings measurement should help ease the minds of worried fans and creators alike, especially after Tuesday, Feb. 19's disastrous ratings report for several of the networks. Former hits like "Smash" and "Body of Proof" fell to new lows and new players like "Go On" and "The New Normal" also sunk. Meanwhile, new entry "Cult" brought in less than 1 million viewers.