Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More Anger At Nielsen

"New York's television stations are mad as hell at Nielsen Media Research. And after years of complaints about the monopoly that provides ratings data, local TV executives say they aren't going to take it anymore.

Blaming a ratings slide on the company's measurement system, the stations have begun talking to potential competitors about services that could supplement or eventually replace Nielsen's local people meters, which made their controversial debut in 2004.

But now, stations say they have no choice but to find other measurement sources. They insist that the company simply doesn't sample enough homes to provide accurate ratings for a market as big as New York.

Nielsen's critics argue that in a multichannel universe, the people meters' sample panel of 800 households is insufficient to measure a marketplace of 7.4 million television households. Those figures add up to a ratio of one sample for every 9,000 households.

“The sample size for the local people meters is too small, and it is destroying the market,” gripes a station executive. “Everybody is looking at alternatives.”

All of the executives interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity because of agreements with Nielsen not to criticize it in the press."

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