Local Cable

This section focuses specifically on local cable planning, buying and measurement. Whether you are looking for answers to frequently asked questions, contact information for a specific cable system, avail times, major market interconnects or insight into local measurement we have it covered.

Local Cable FAQ's

Not sure how many cable systems exist in the U.S. and what exactly is an interconnect? This section will answer your most frequently asked questions regarding local cable advertising.

Local Cable Myths

There are common local Cable myths spread in the marketplace regarding penetration, coverage and program ranking / quality. The purpose of this decklet is to lay to rest these antiquated notions with straight facts.

Local Measurement

At the local level, Nielsen measures television audiences using different methodologies depending on the market.In the top markets (ranked 1-25), local people meters (LPM) are used to electronically capture both tuning and viewing. This single measurement source is considered the gold standard of measurement in the US today. See "Local People Meter Primer" to understand the advantages of LPMs in audience measurement.

In the next set of markets (ranked 26-56), set meters are used to capture set tuning (what is being watched) continuously all year, while diaries are still mailed out during ‘sweep’ months to capture demographics (who is watching). These two methods (what and who) are joined together to develop audience estimates in these markets.

In the smallest markets (currently markets ranked above #57) diaries are sent out four times a year during ‘sweep’ months. The broadcasters tend to schedule their strongest programming during these ‘sweep’ periods, and this "hyped" data is used for buying and selling the rest of the year. The diary (which is the least accurate collections method) is used to collect both viewing (who) and tuning (how many people). On average diaries under-report demo audiences 10-25%.

In an effort to increase sample sizes, improve stability and provide fewer zero ratings, Nielsen is planning on releasing the next generation metering technology – the Local Hybrid. This hybrid measurement methodology combines Nielsen’s existing panels, code reader and return path data.

Local Posting Guidelines

Local People Meter Primer

Local Cable Avail Times

Interested in learning networks allotted insertion times for local commercials, click here for a complete list of Ad-Supported Cable’s local avail times.

Major Market Interconnects

For national or local advertisers who are looking to reach consumers at the DMA/Spot Cable level; interconnects enable them to reach the right subscribers. Interconnects, which combine two or more local cable systems and distribute a program or commercial signal simultaneously, allow the advertiser to reach their target with only one buy, one commercial tap and one invoice. This section lists the main interconnects in the Top 50 DMAs.