×

Nielsen Must Let ESPN Project Continue Under FTC Approval of Arbitron Acquisition

Research firm expects $1.3 billion takeover of Arbitron to close Sept. 30

Ratings and consumer research firm Nielsen announced an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that gives it clearance for the proposed $1.3 billion acquisition of Arbitron, which measures radio listening.

But under the terms of the FTC’s approval, Nielsen must continue to support Project Blueprint, the cross-platform project measuring TV, radio, PC, mobile and tablet engagement that ESPN has been working on with Arbitron and comScore.

Nielsen said that subject to customary closing conditions, the Arbitron deal is expected to close on Sept. 30, 2013.

SEE ALSO: Nielsen to Add Mobile Device Viewing to TV Ratings in Fall 2014

“We are pleased to have the regulatory process behind us and are excited to be closing the Arbitron acquisition,” Nielsen CEO David Calhoun said in a statement. “We are looking forward to providing all of the benefits of the combined company to our new clients in the radio industry and their advertisers, driving incremental value for them as well as our shareholders.”

Under the agreement, Nielsen must make available to any “FTC-approved third-party” companies that request it a license Arbitron Portable People Meter and related data as well as software and technology currently being used in the ESPN project for the sole purpose of cross-platform measurement for up to eight years.

“Effective merger enforcement requires that we look carefully at likely competitive effects that may be just around the corner,” FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. “In this matter, the evidence provided us with a strong reason to believe that absent a remedy, the deal was likely to harm emerging competition in the area of cross-platform audience measurement.”

More Biz

  • peacock-ads-NBCU

    NBCU's Peacock Marks Media's Latest Try to Connect Consumers, Commercials

    In an era when consumers feel more empowered to avoid TV commercials, NBCUniversal is the latest media company to try to get them to bring ads back into their TV lives. One of the key selling points of big streaming-video services like Netflix and Disney Plus is that subscribers don’t have to endure the commercial [...]

  • Our Planet BTS BBC

    U.K. Entertainment Industry Moves Beyond London

    When Channel 4 launches its daytime current-affairs program “The Steph Show” this spring, it will mark a milestone in the U.K. broadcaster’s output.  Like most of the British film and TV industries, Channel 4 has been heavily London-centric. By contrast, “The Steph Show,” starring journalist and presenter Steph McGovern, was commissioned by the network’s new [...]

  • Lucian Grainge

    Universal Music Chief Lucian Grainge to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Lucian Grainge — chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company — will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next Thursday (Jan. 23). Fittingly, the ceremony will take place in front of the historic Capitol Records building; Capitol is one of the several Universal-owned labels under Grainge’s domain. Universal, recently [...]

  • John Ross Promoted to Vice President,

    John Ross Promoted to Vice President, Features and Events, at Variety

    Variety’s three-time Emmy Award-winning producer and managing director of features and events John Ross has been upped to VP, features and events. Ross, who exec produces Variety’s Actors on Actors series, has been instrumental to the development of Variety’s features business, including the Young Hollywood issue, the Pride issue, Showman of the Year, the Billion [...]

  • Deborah Dugan Recording Academy Head

    Deborah Dugan’s Attorney Slams Grammys With Fiery Statement After Ouster

    Less than 12 hours after news broke that Deborah Dugan had been placed on administrative leave from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy, her attorney fired back with a statement. “What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told. When our ability to speak is not restrained by [...]

  • Nick Cannon Drew Barrymore Lauren Lake

    NATPE 2020: Industryites Hope Marquee Names Help Drive Daytime Turnaround

    A little momentum goes a long way in daytime. After a long slump, the first-run syndication market has come back to life this year with several high-profile new talk shows headed for this year’s NATPE conference in Miami, which runs Jan. 21-23. Nick Cannon is extending his multimedia endeavors into daytime. So is actor-entrepreneur Drew [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Sowersby/REX/Shutterstock

    Joint Sky & NBC News Channel Confirmed, Set To Rival CNN & Bloomberg

    Comcast confirmed plans to launch a global news platform with Sky News at the launch of its highly anticipated streaming offering Peacock. Variety understands that the channel will be a brand new service that exists independent of Sky News and NBC News, with bases likely to be set up in London and New York and a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content