Nielsen rates review

The Committee on National Television Audience Measurement (CONTAM) is expected to announce the unveiling of an audience measurement project to reevaluate the validity of the A.C. Nielsen ratings statistics at a press conference today.

CONTAM, whose members include ABC, CBS, NBC and the National Assn. of Broadcasters, has long been critical of Nielsen statistics and methodology.

The group, through New Jersey-based Statistical Research Inc., has been doing lab research of TV audiences in an attempt to challenge the accuracy of Nielsen numbers.

Research executives voiced heightened concern about the rating system last year, when Arbitron announced that it was pulling out of the TV ratings business , effectively giving Nielsen a monopoly in local audience measurement as well as national ratings.

Ratings rantings

Some suggested that the networks should fund their own service to provide an alternative to Nielsen.

“We’re all looking at a medium that’s changing a great deal. New things are coming up electronically, and audience measurement has to keep up,” said George Hooper, a senior associate at SRI who has been working on the live experiment along with SRI president Gale Metzger.

Expanding scope

CONTAM and SRI aim to expand the scope of the current viewing experiment fieldwork in order to improve national TV audience measurement methods. In 1992, SRI published a seven-volume study of national ratings methodology, funded by CONTAM, which was highly critical of the Nielsens.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety