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No Reissue for L.A. PPM Ratings

Nielsen concludes probe, says reissue would be disruptive to market

Nielsen has ended its investigation of ratings issues in the Los Angeles market; the ratings company did not sanction Univision and decided against reissuing a year’s worth of Portable People Meter ratings for the market.

Broadcasters both in and outside the L.A. market have watched the situation play out with interest.

Nielsen told clients it found only big swings in ratings for one station, Univision-owned KSCA(FM) in Los Angeles. There were “minimal differences in the estimates for the overwhelming majority of other stations in the market,” the company said in a memo reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

After reviewing data for the market going back 12 months, the ratings company decided a ratings reissue for that period would be “of limited commercial benefit” and result in further market disruption, according to Nielsen in the client memo.

Univision in June fired an employee from KSCA who was related to and living in the same household as a Nielsen PPM panel member, we reported. At the time, Nielsen said, “The behavior of a media affiliated household not self-reporting is a serious violation of data integrity standards.”

The audience research firm removed that household from the Los Angeles PPM panel, as well as another household for noncompliance. Both households had been in the panel for “an extended period” Nielsen had said, leading to an eight-day delay in releasing PPM estimates for that market.

Nielsen says it’s taken several actions to minimize the risk of reoccurrence and strengthen meter compliance. The ratings firm plans to initiate an education campaign to remind broadcasters of panel security and media affiliation guidelines.