To calculate television ad rates, take the SQAD cost-per-point (in US$) for market and multiply it by the Nielsen rating for the program that airs at the same time. That will equal the cost of the ad.
x Nielsen rating
= (relative) TV ad cost
Step 1: Get SQAD cost-per-point
- For summary data, consult the Thumbnail Media Planner (print, Park Library reference, HF5415.3 .T48).
- For detailed data by media market, consult SRDS TV & cable source (print, at Davis Library reference, call number HF5905 .S745).
Step 2: Get Nielsen ratings data from one of the following:
- Nielsen | TV Ratings Offers data for the current week only, broken out by Broadcast TV, Cable TV, Syndication, "Among African-Americans," and "Among Hispanics." All data is U.S. only.
- Daily Variety publishes a weekly chart of Nielsen's Primetime Ratings Report. Lists number of total viewers for all prime-time shows, as well as the top shows in various age groups. One-month delay. Charts available for the past several years.
- Television Nielsen Ratings Zap2It blogs about TV ratings and links to weekly, seasonal, and cable ratings from Nielsen.
- TVbytheNumbers.com provides a "scoreboard" with Rating/Share for each television network, broken out by age group. Material includes brief analysis. Other links include Network TV Ratings Season to Date, Broadcast Top 25, Cable Top 25, and a list of all their ratings charts, including the date the most recent was published.
- Futon Critic Ratings Daily Nielsen data, along with a good explanation of what the data means. From TheFutonCritic.com.
- Business Source Complete provides hundreds of stories about Nielsen ratings from a variety of sources, including Advertising Age, AdWeek, Broadcasting & Cable, MediaWeek, and the Wall Street Journal. Free for UNC students!
- Check the print SQAD Media market guide in the Park Library at ADV-ref .M489. Data is 1-2 years old.
Note: UNC does not have print or digital access to the full data collected by the A. C. Nielsen Marketing Information Company. This data is proprietary and only available to clients of A. C. Nielsen.