NBC signs largest ever agreement with Nielsen

NEW YORK : Nielsen Media Research and NBC have announced the signing of a seven-year landmark agreement for audience measurement services covering all of NBC's television businesses.

This includes the NBC Television Network, cable networks Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC, Telemundo, the 14 NBC-owned-and-operated television stations, and the 13 Telemundo television stations. It is the largest, most comprehensive agreement of its kind in the history of media research.

An official release informs that NBC has also agreed to support the largest-ever expansion of Nielsen's National People Meter Sample. When all elements of the expansion plan are complete, the effective size of the National People Meter Sample will grow from 5,000 households to nearly 10,000 homes.

The agreement also builds on a strong engineering foundation between the two companies. NBC has agreed to implement Nielsen's digital encoding system to be used in Nielsen's new metering system for producing television ratings. The new Active/Passive metering system will be introduced in 2004. In sample homes, the A/P Meter will identify programmes, stations and networks from electronic codes embedded in programmes at the distribution source. NBC and Nielsen engineers will work closely together as new digital distribution systems come to the US market.

President and CEO Nielsen Media Research Susan D Whiting said, " This landmark agreement reflects our commitment to everyone at NBC, first to deliver the highest quality estimates to their businesses every day; and second, that we have invested in the right technology, the right methodology, the right partnerships, and the right people to assure that television will always be the best measured medium of audience delivery."

The release states that highly diversified media companies require comprehensive access to a broad spectrum of audience research information. Limitations on how individual business units may use vital information can impede growth.

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