News Corp protests Nielsen meters in NY

MUMBAI: News Corp has denounced Nielsen Media Research's decision to start tracking electronically New York City television viewers' viewing habits with the help of people meters.

Nielsen has decided to postpone the launch of the meters in Chicaog and Los Angeles till June due to sampling problems, while it says it is ready to go ahead with the project of replacing the manually maintained 'sweeps diaries' in NY City on 8 April.

The Nielsen notice to broadcasters on the same drew stringent opposition from News Corp, which said on Monday that there is "growing evidence" that the use of people meters to measure local audiences "could undercount viewership by as much as 25 percent," especially among young people and minority groups, and said that the problem was particularly pronounced in large, ethnically diverse urban areas."

Detailed ratings data on a daily basis would be available from the nation's biggest city from 8 April, but Lachlan Murdoch, News Corp's deputy COO and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group says he "cannot understand how Nielsen can still proceed with the meter in New York while such significant issues remain as to the reliability of their numbers." Murdoch, in his statement has been categorical that "If the meter isn't good enough for Los Angeles and Chicago yet, it certainly isn't good enough for the nation's largest market."

While Nielsen has used people meters since 1987 to track daily national TV viewing habits, it has deployed them only in 50 markets, limited to overall household ratings. Detailed demographic information available for local TV stations to set advertising rates thus far comes from manual diaries recorded four times a year for the "sweeps" -- in November, February, May and July, but these have been open to criticism of inaccuracy owing to viewers' tendencies to fill them in at the end of the period.

Nielsen, a unit of Dutch publisher VNU has maintained that the meters, are far more accurate than the diaries. Its only reason for delaying the launch of meters in LA and Chicago is the time taken to develop accurate samples. Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus says "In New York, we were very confident in the quality of the sample, so we went ahead with it as scheduled." He disputes News Corp's contention that the electronic system undercounts viewership, saying, "We told them just the opposite was true."

While reports indicate that News Corp's apprehension in subscribing to the meters could stem from lower ratings garnered electronically from these cities for Fox stations than when recorded in the diaries, Murdoch in his statement argues that the meters methodology may be "flawed - particularly in large, ethnically diverse urban areas - we recommended conducting a review prior to roll out."

Nielsen began the use of local people meters in Boston in 2002, with plans to expand the system to four more cities -- Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco -- this year, and the remaining top ten markets by 2006.

"Until Nielsen can prove the accuracy of its numbers, particularly in counting young and African-American viewers, we risk implementing a seriously flawed system. Nielsen has an obligation to design a system that inspires real confidence among broadcasters, advertisers and viewers. It must take all necessary steps, including an independent audit of the people meter methodology, to ensure that this new measurement system is credible and reliable before deploying the system in any markets," says Murdoch in his official statement.

Latest Reads
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

Whether businesses and industries practice their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during the academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India.

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs
Sony Pix to telecast 'Jurassic World' on 22 October

Sony Pix will take the viewers on a thrilling, adventurous journey with cloned dinosaurs in their Billion Dollar Premiere property. The channel plans to air Jurassic World on 22 October at 1 pm and 9 pm.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony AXN scripts deal with Pinewood; buys stake in SVOD service Hopster

Folks at Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are in a celebratory mood. Not only has it signed a six-series deal with Pinewood Television but has also acquired a minority stake in the London-based video subscription service for kids content - Hopster.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories