Nielsen sold in $16 billion deal

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Nielsen has been acquired by private equity investors for a deal valued at $16 billion.

A group of investors led by Brookfield Business Partners put together the offer.

Just last week, the same group had offered $9 billion for Nielsen. That offer was rejected by Nielsen, which said it undervalued the company.

The investors will also assume about $6 billion in debt currently held by Nielsen.

Nielsen provides a variety of data and marketing services, but is perhaps best known for compiling and selling TV ratings data to stations, networks and other entities.

The company has faced criticism for the methodology it uses to estimate ratings and viewership and even recently lost its Media Ratings Council accreditation for its national ratings after it allegedly provided data that significantly underestimated how many people were watching programs during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, media giant NBCUniversal is considering options to build a better way to gain insight into viewership.

In fact, NBCU has begun moving toward that model by introducing its own tools that tie user and household data across its digital properties to provide advertisers with better targeting and data profiles through an effort called NBCUnified.

Nielsen is also working on Nielsen One, a new product that will attempt to create a single metric that combines linear and digital viewership across multiple platforms and devices.

However, the service isn’t expected until late 2022, and some are wondering if it’s too little too late as the company has been considered too slow to respond to changes in the media landscape.

Nielsen could also face challenges to its business as linear TV audiences continue to shrink and content producers are able to use their own internal analytics tools to tally viewership and viewer demographics to use when selling ads and making programming decisions.