NEW YORK — After several weeks of negotiations, ABC has finally signed with the A. C. Nielsen Co. for its new people-meter national ratings service, becoming the last of the three major television networks to take the new audience-measurement system.
Marvin Mord, ABC's research chief, said the contract, costing $5 million annually, is for three years, with an option to continue for two more years. It was signed Friday, just in time for the start of the new prime-time television season tonight.
ABC held up in taking the people-meter service, Mord said, until it had obtained certain guarantees from Nielsen, including a national audience sample that it felt would more accurately reflect the younger, urban television viewers in the United States.
"We're pleased," Mord said. "We think the Nielsen company has acted responsibly."
In addition to ABC, NBC and CBS, the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Co. network also subscribes to the new service, which provides detailed overnight demographic data on viewing in 2,000 homes across the country. The Nielsen sample is scheduled to increase to 4,000 homes by September, 1988.