Nielsen and LCS Implement Live+ Metric to Measure VOD Viewing

  • Riot Game’s LCS expands its relationship with Nielsen to implement “live+,” a measurement rating system for time-shifted viewing.
  • Live+ will complement the average-minute-audience metric utilized by Nielsen and Riot to report last year’s viewership stats.
  • Nielsen has partnered with multiple organizers and rights holders to establish consistent viewership metrics.

Riot Games, through its League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) property, along with Nielsen will implement “live+,” a measurement rating system for time-shifted viewing (viewership that does not occur during the initial live broadcast of an event, or its immediate rebroadcast). Live+’s ratings is a compilation of viewership statistics for live broadcasts and related on-demand or replay video afterwards to calculate the total audience for the programming content. Ratings will be closely associated with the average-minute-audience (AMA) metric.

“We’re excited to continue to drive new ways of understanding esports fans’ content consumption, and looking at LCS viewership through the lens of live+ audience data is another key step in these efforts,” said Nicole Pike, managing director, Nielsen Esports. “Building on the foundational AMA metric that Riot Games has quickly adopted, we are now working with the LCS team to understand how time-shifted viewing plays into League of Legends fans’ experience–and how it expands the audience Riot can reach with its content,” 

AMA is a way to calculate the average number of people watching a broadcast at any minute during a broadcast, determined by total minutes watched divided by the number of total viewing individuals. Nielsen will measure live and on-demand LCS viewership to present a more complete picture of streaming viewership engagement and provide a direct way to compare both live and time-shifted televised content.

Over the last year, Nielsen has partnered with multiple esports organizers including Activision Blizzard and ESL, and has worked to establish AMA as the industry-wide metric for measuring viewership. However, due to the nature of esports viewership, measuring the audience for a live broadcast may not tell the whole story.

“One of the things that we see is time-shifted viewing is becoming more popular,” Pike told The Esports Observer. “I think one reason is due to the more global nature of esports. Meaning that the time zone something is broadcasted in live is not always the best fit for everyone. Also, one of the key reasons they watch is to become a better gamer, to learn from the players. Viewers can go back and rewatch a match for key moments in the game and learn.”

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