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Nielsen Defends Its New System

June 23, 2004|From Times Wire Services

Nielsen Media Research Inc. said Tuesday that it had asked a Los Angeles judge to deny Univision Television Group Inc.'s request to bar Nielsen's "people meter" audience counting system from being used in the city.

Univision, the top U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster, filed suit against Nielsen on June 10, alleging that the people meter would reduce the count of its viewers in Los Angeles as much as 50%.

Nielsen, the predominant U.S. TV audience measurement provider, said in its filing that Univision "seeks to prevent the L.A. market's use of a modernized, improved and more accurate system that is already in use nationally ... because it results in lower ratings for some of Univision's programs."

Several groups, including a coalition of civil rights activists, an ad industry group and broadcaster News Corp., are opposed to Nielsen's new methods.

Nielsen collects ratings used to set ad rates. The firm launched the counting system this month in New York and said it planned to use it in L.A. by July.

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