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Nielsen Takes ComScore to Court Over Cross-Platform Measurement

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There's a war on between the two leading video measurement companies. News broke Friday that Nielsen has filed a lawsuit against ComScore in U.S. District Court in New York. At issue is ComScore's use of Nielsen Personal People Meter (PPM) data. While the two companies had an agreement that let ComScore use the data, Nielsen says its rival is violating the terms.

The initial agreement from 2014 lets ComScore use PPM data to provide cross-platform TV and online audience measurement. But Nielsen alleges ComScore is going beyond the terms with its Extended TV service, providing "television audience measurement in the absence of online audience measurement for virtually all programming and the vast majority of networks."

That's the crux, says Nielsen, noting that nothing in the agreement lets ComScore offer TV measurement by itself, and even bars the company from using PPM to create standalone services such as linear TV measurement.

“ComScore’s use of Nielsen PPM data in its planned Extended TV service violates the parties’ agreement by offering linear television measurement without online viewership while claiming Extended TV is a cross-platform service," Nielsen told Deadline Hollywood. “This requires Nielsen to ask the courts to stop the introduction of Extended TV until this matter can be resolved through arbitration.”

ComScore says its Extended TV service is indeed cross-platform, and measures online, mobile, and tablet viewing. Extended TV is priced lower than Nielsen's service, and could entice some customers to switch.

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