U.S. National TV Measurement


Measure the value of TV advertising

Every media buyer and seller asks these questions: Who is watching TV? What ads and content are they seeing? How often and how long are they tuning in? With the right answers, publishers can effectively price and manage their inventory, as well as grow their market share amidst rising competition. And media buyers can efficiently allocate their media budgets by determining optimal placement for their advertising and achieve meaningful outcomes.

Nielsen’s U.S. National TV measurement is the source of truth for the media industry. We provide our clients with a deep understanding of what audiences are watching – when, where, with who and how often. To derive viewing metrics, like ratings, that the industry can use to trade with confidence, we take a Big Data + Panel approach to measurement. We combine data from 45 million households and 75 million smart TVs and cable/satellite set-top boxes with granular insights from our panel of real people to deliver metrics that are representative of the ads and content audiences are viewing. 

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Use cases

Connect with the TV audiences that matter most to you

Nielsen U.S. National TV data is the currency of choice for media buyers and sellers because we understand that measurement needs to work for everyone, and measure everybody, everywhere. Our proprietary technology can identify viewing that occurs on each TV in and out of the home, including viewing that occurs at airports, doctor’s offices, hotels, or bars/restaurants. We also measure when audiences are watching – whether it’s live, a recorded program via DVR, or video on demand – delivering accurate measurement across all platforms and devices.

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Media buyers

Have confidence that every penny of your marketing budget is spent wisely and that your advertising message reaches the right customers at the right time. With the scale of big data and the industry’s largest TV panel, Nielsen is the reliable data partner you need for making informed advertising investment decisions. From initial planning to precise measurement, Nielsen is committed to helping you achieve tangible bottom-line results.

Answer critical questions like:

•  How many people saw my TV ad campaign? Know their gender, race, ethnicity, income, education, occupation, etc.
• What are viewers’ media behaviors and what are the best places to reach them with your message?
• What are my optimal frequency levels?

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Media sellers

Unleash the potential of your advertising inventory by highlighting your ability to reach and engage viewers. With a stable, representative data set and the ability to deliver insights beyond age and gender, you can provide assurance that advertisers’ investments are reaching their targeted demographics with precision.

Answer critical questions like:

• What types of programming do your target viewers watch?
• Who are your viewers? Know more about them – gender, race, ethnicity, income, education, occupation, etc.
• How does your network stack up against the competition?
• How much time do viewers spend with television and when?


Currency that is trusted, independent, and standardized across the industry

Inclusive data

Inclusive data

We measure real people because marketers target people, not devices. Gain an understanding of your viewing audience with person-level metrics that represent multicultural communities inclusive of age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, presence of children and much more.

Comprehensive coverage

Different types of media source's

Nielsen’s full product line includes comprehensive measurement across linear TV, connected TV (CTV), computers, smartphones, tablets, walled gardens and social media. Our metrics, which are inclusive of co-viewing, are reflective of how U.S. audiences watch TV with measurement that accounts for over-the-air, streaming, over-the-top (OTT) and out-of-home (OOH) viewership.


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