Why Nielsen isn't watching the cord-cutters

A general view of atmosphere at the A+E Networks 2013 Upfront on May 8, 2013 in New York City.

May is the month of the television Upfronts, where networks show off their new programming to advertisers. But there's a growing issue in the TV world -- so called cord-cutters, the people who don't watch TV on TV. The Nielsen Company has traditionally been the authority on ratings, but not even they know how much TV the cord-cutters are watching online.

Bloomberg's Edmund Lee explains why Nielsen is loath to look at online numbers.

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Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.
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I listen to Marketplace via podcast and internet streaming, because the radio reception in my area is poor and so I can listen at my convenience. I cut the telephone cord in 2008 in favor of VOIP and cell phones, and I cut the cable cord in 2009. We and chip in towards a friend's premium cable subscription and like the channel variety (OK, just HBO, Showtime, Starz, and the four networks) and time shifting. Combined with a dedicated media PC, we don't miss cable service at all. The drawbacks are technical, due to our DSL service, but they're tolerable.

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