Local stations hit Nielsen $

NEW YORK — The Assn. of Local TV Stations said Nielsen Media Research has raised its prices for ratings information to Fox, UPN and WB affiliates and independent stations by 27.9% over the last five years.

The association, known as ALTV, said that figure compares unfavorably with the 11.8% increase in the consumer price index over the same five-year period between 1992 and 1996.

A spokesman for Nielsen said that ALTV “hasn’t shared its survey information with us, so I guess they’re not interested in a dialogue.”

A total of 135 TV stations not affiliated with ABC, CBS or NBC responded to survey forms sent out by the association on June 21, 1996. In dollar terms, Nielsen pocketed, on average, $166,850 per station a year from these TV stations in 1992. Four years later, that figure had climbed to an average of $213,455 per station in calendar 1996.

ALTV chalks up these increases to “the monopoly position” enjoyed by Nielsen, which has faced no competition in the gathering and publishing of local station ratings since Arbitron folded its operation in 1993.

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