News Corp leads lobby to regulate Nielsen

MUMBAI: Nielsen Media Research's plan to introduce peoplemeters has upset several broadcast networks in the US including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Their grouse: the metres will reflect reduced viewers and cause advertisers to switch to cable or satellite TV.

The broadcasters, led by News Corp, are lobbying lawmakers for legislation to regulate Nielsen whose ratings set prices for the $60 billion annual TV advertising in the US.

The group is circulating a proposed bill on Capitol Hill that would regulate Nielsen and force the company to get approval for new audience metres from the Media Rating Council, said a Bloomberg report quoting Fox TV stations president of operations Tom Herwitz. The council is an industry group with TV companies constituting about 40 per cent of the membership.

News Corp has contested that the introduction of peoplemeters would "undercount minorities," a view which has caught on among station owners Tribune Co. and Gannett Co. Their campaign prompted Nielsen to open an office in Washington for the first time and forced it to delay plans to role out the devices in Washington and Philadelphia, Bloomberg reports. ``Before all this happened, we had been excluded from the political brouhaha,'' said Don Lowery, Nielsen's vice president of government relations. ``It was naive to think it would continue.''

Broadcasters including News Corp, Tribune and Gannett sent a 25 May letter to Nielsen asking the company to delay its new people- meters, the report added. ``The goal of ensuring accuracy in ratings justifies the minimal intervention of the Congress,'' Herwitz said.

The draft bill has been given to Senator Conrad Burns, a Republican from Montana, and Senator Gordon Smith, a Republican from Oregon, both of whom serve on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The bill would require Nielsen to submit to mandatory audits (current practice requires voluntary audits) by the Media Rating Council and adhere to set standards.

Senator Burns is said to be reviewing the broadcasters' bill.

Nielsen has already installed local peoplemeters in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. The plan is to use the devices in the top 10 markets which cover 30 per cent of viewers. The devices are more accurate because they electronically track what each member of a household is watching, spokesman Jack Loftus said in the report.

The peoplemeters are set to replace older metres and handwritten diaries. Under the diary system, Nielsen pays viewers $2 to $15 for completing and mailing them in. That system, Nielsen says, is less accurate because people often forget what they watch or neglect to fill in the diaries.

Broadcast networks have been losing audience to cable and satellite TV. The three largest broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS and NBC -- last year attracted 22 per cent of US. viewers, down from 56 per cent in 1970.

Latest Reads
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) to telecast the India Tour of Ireland 2018 live and exclusive on SONY SIX and SONY TEN 3 channels

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has announced that it has acquired the exclusive media rights to telecast the 2018 India Tour of Ireland that comprises two T20Is to be played on June 27 and June 29, 2018, in Malahide, Ireland.

Television TV Channels Sports
TLC to show Masterchef Canada season 5

TLC, a part of Discovery, has announced the telecast of the fifth season of the culinary competition series Masterchef Canada from 26 June in India.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
&pictures to screen the Indian spy thriller ‘Naam Shabana’ on Saturday, 29th June at 9.30pm

A spinoff of the 2015 box office hit Baby, Naam Shabana follows the life and journey of a spy. Directed by Shivam Nair, the thriller features Taapsee Pannu as Shabana Khan along with Akshay Kumar, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Anupam Kher and Manoj Bajpayee essaying pivotal characters. &pictures, Naye...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
Big Trunk Communications bags digital mandate of Discovery Kids channel in India

Big Trunk Communications, a Mumbai-based full-fledged creative digital agency, has acquired digital duties for Discovery Kids channel in India.The business was won as part of a pitch against leading digital agencies.

Television TV Channels Kids
Zee Tamil strengthens its weekend programming

MUMBAI: Zee Tamil, the tamil general entertainment channel of ZEEL, recently announced its decision to spruce up its fiction bands for weekends.

Television TV Channels Regional
Times Television Network elevates Nivedita Oak to DGM

Times Television Network (TTN) has elevated Nivedita Oak to deputy general manager - influence. Earlier, Oak was the regional head for Zoom, FCT and branded content. She has been working with the Times Network for the last 11 years.

Television TV Channels People
History TV18 to release third film in ‘Special Operations India' series

History TV18, a pan-Indian television channel, is to create a documentary on counter-terrorist operation at Pathankot air base named Special Operations India: Pathankot. This one-hour documentary will be aired on June 25 at 9 pm.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
CNBC-TV18 successfully concludes the 8th edition of the ‘India Healthcare and Wellness Awards 2018’

NBC-TV18, India’s leading English business news channel along with ICICI Lombard hosted the 8th edition of the ‘Indian Healthcare and Wellness Awards 2018’ at The Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
MN+ to air Indian Television premier of ‘Tulip Fever’

MN+, the Gold Class of Hollywood Movies from the Times Network, brings to the viewers, for the first time on Indian television, the celebrated romantic historical saga– ‘Tulip Fever’. The movie will premiere on Sunday, 24th June at 1 pm and 9pm on MN+.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories