Advanced TV terms and acronym cheat sheet

September 13, 2019 | 3 minute read
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Television advertising started in the early 1940s but has evolved dramatically since then. Not only are the concepts different, but the way audiences consume television has changed. Today’s modern technologies have driven the popularity of cord-cutters utilizing on-demand services; and more and more, the line between TV and digital is blurred.

In order to keep up with the trends in the television space, you must be able to speak the same language as your partners. Review the terms from our Essential Guide to Navigating the Advanced TV & Video landscape, and successfully lead any conversation about advanced TV and video.

Addressable TV

A method of segmenting TV audiences and targeting different ads or ad pods at the household or zone level (groups of homes) through cable, satellite, and set-top boxes into linear or video on demand (VOD).

Connected TV

A device that can connect to a TV (e.g., Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast) or a smart TV that facilitates the delivery of streaming video content.


The time division in a typical broadcast day divided from the perspective of offering slots to various advertisers. Different dayparts are Morning, Daytime, Late News, and so on.

Gross Rating Point (GRP)

GRPs measure the total of all rating points during an advertising campaign without regard for multiple exposures. GRPs equal Reach x Frequency. For example, an advertisement reaches 25% of homes 3 times over a 1-week period. This means the advertising schedule creates 75 GRPs for that time period (25 x 3 = 75).

Linear TV

A traditional system in which a viewer watches a scheduled TV program at the time it’s broadcast and on its original channel. It can also be recorded via DVR and viewed later. (Essentially, this is TV as it was known before the digital age.)

Multiple-System Operator (MSO)

An operator of multiple cable or direct broadcast satellite television systems.

Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPDs)

A service provider delivering TV programming services to the consumer, often charging a subscription fee. These include cable providers such as Charter, Comcast, Verizon Fios, and so on.

Optimized Linear TV Media Planning

Utilizing data-driven audiences to create and build the most optimal performance-based media plan based on an advertiser’s target audience and campaign objectives.

Over-the-Top (OTT)

The delivery of TV content via the internet. Users are not required to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite provider to watch TV content. Typically, video is delivered in a streaming or video-on-demand (VOD) format.

Set-Top Box (STB)

A hardware device that allows a digital signal from a broadcaster to be received, decoded, and displayed on a television (your cable box). It also transmits important user data and, in many cases, viewership data back to the broadcaster.

Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

OTT technology allowing consumers to choose what and when to watch through streaming services (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video).

Programmatic TV

There are many definitions for programmatic TV in the industry; however, the most common is the automation of purchasing audience-based TV advertising through a software platform.

Rating Points

Ratings are the standard measurement of traditional TV. A rating is an estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified universe) tuned to a program at once. Rating points are equal to 1% (1 rating) of a population or universe. For example, if 25% of all targeted televisions are tuned to a show containing your advertisement, you have 25 rating points.

Video on Demand (VOD)

Distributors make network programming available that can be accessed by viewers on their own schedules and watched on a TV via their pay-TV provider’s set-top box.

Virtual MVPD (MVPD)

A type of service delivering a multitude of television channels through the internet, often containing fewer channels than traditional satellite or cable subscription models—that is, “skinny bundles.”

This list only scratches the surface of the advanced TV and video space, and there is much more to learn about each topic and how they all support each other in a comprehensive campaign. Having a firm grasp of these essentials will be critical to driving success for your digital efforts.




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Da'Les Allen

Da’Les Allen is a Digital Content Specialist for Oracle Data Cloud. She creates content such as blog posts and videos for the organization and strategizes on ways to distribute the content. She enjoys creating content (obviously) and reading on the different marketing trends in the industry.

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