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Org announces alternate measure of TV ratings

As expected, the Committee on National Television Audience Measurement Thursday announced a major TV ratings laboratory project designed to compile more accurate TV viewing statistics (Daily Variety, Feb. 3). Statistical Research Inc., acting on a charge from the committee, has been operating a New Jersey prototype of the research lab since June.

Systems for Measuring and Reporting Television is being funded equally by ABC , CBS and NBC as a developmental project to be rolled out in a test market area in summer 1995.

According to Statistical Research president Gale Metzger, following Thursday morning’s announcement, an as-yet unnamed cable network has expressed interest in coming on board to help fund the project.

Nielsen representative Jack Loftus suggested that if the technology proves “truly revolutionary,” his company would be interested in licensing it for its measurement systems.

Measurment org and Statistical Research reps insist the web-backed development project is merely an experiment to develop more accurate and reliable audience measurement techniques.

However, David Poltrack, CBS’ senior VP of planning and research, said the networks “want competitors to Nielsen … and see this as easing that process along” and would welcome two TV audience measurement forces.

Arbitron dropped out as a competitor for Nielsen in local TV ratings last year.

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