Q&A with
Solomon Kahn
VP of Data Strategy & Analytics
Nielsen Sports


With the explosion of OTT services, more live sporting events are being streamed across smart device platforms than ever before. While additional platforms give audiences more ways to watch, these new services lack the traditional TV backbone and expertise to understand the value of the ecosystem. We recently sat down with Solomon Kahn, VP of Data Strategy & Analytics of Nielsen Sports to learn more about sponsorship measurement of OTT services.

How is the demand growing for sponsorship on over-the-top (OTT) platforms?


Although sports is often viewed as the one reason people can’t fully cut the cord from traditional TV, OTT is becoming very important in the sports industry. Large rights holders are signing deals with OTT platforms for global distribution, and smaller rights holders, like some of our MLS clients, are moving to OTT only. As this market continues to evolve, we want to be a leader in measuring the sponsorship value across the OTT sports landscape.

What advantages does Nielsen have in sponsorship measurement on OTT platforms?


Nielsen is the global leader in audience measurement, and we have a huge depth of experience to apply as we approach the evolution of viewership into OTT. Nielsen also has the largest database of sports viewership information in the world across linear, pay TV and OTT, and we’re using this database to build an estimation model for OTT and unmetered linear TV.

What are some of the challenges of measuring OTT versus traditional broadcast, cable and satellite television?

There are two main challenges in measuring the OTT market. The biggest is audience measurement. As opposed to traditional metered TV, OTT platforms don’t yet have independent third-party measurement.
The second challenge is schedule information. OTT platforms often don’t have schedule information available online in the same way as TV channels. DAZN might have the rights to broadcast multiple Premier League games in Spain per week, but we need to actually log into DAZN in Spain to know which games are broadcast.
The industry is working on a better solution to this schedule problem, but for now, it’s a very manual process.

How is Nielsen Sports providing accurate sponsorship valuation data and analysis in the space?

We have partnered with the Nielsen Media data science team to build an audience estimation model using our database of global historical sports audiences. This new model takes into account multiple variables, such as broadcast details, sports interest, historical audiences and global metered TV audiences to develop a comprehensive model to predict OTT audiences. 

How is the information delivered to clients?

We treat this information the same as our linear TV data, and it can be delivered to clients through reports and through Sports Connect.

Download the Nielsen Sports Playbook on OTT Strategy here.