Audience measurement and verification are a cornerstone of a properly functioning media market, helping buyers and sellers of advertising to negotiate prices fairly. After the Media Rating Council last year suspended its accreditation of Nielsen’s TV ratings services, trade group VAB renewed its call for changes to the way viewership is tabulated.

“We had had very well known the shortfalls that had occurred during the entire COVID period through May and beyond May,” Sean Cunningham, president and chief executive of the VAB, said in this interview with Beet.TV.

Recounting Nielsen’s disclosures about the shortcomings in its measurement methodology, Cunningham said the scale of undercounting was costly for TV networks.

“This is going to wind up being another hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of advertising that couldn’t be bought or sold in the marketplace,” he said. “This does not inspire confidence with respect to … Nielsen’s ability to accurately do the, essentially, the base job of audience verification and audience measurement. We want the whole marketplace to know this is a big problem.”