AIM TV, a producer of English-language programming for Hispanic audiences, is asking Nielsen Media Research to make changes to its Hispanic ratings sample.
The company claims that Nielsen’s existing Hispanic sample underrepresents U.S.-born Hispanics, many of whom speak English or are bilingual and watch English-language TV.
AIM TV President Robert Rose says Nielsen should select participants based on their country of birth, rather than language choice, which is the current method.
To support its effort, AIM TV has created a web site, changethesample.com, with information about the Nielsen ratings system and an online petition. (There are also ads for AIM programming).
Rose says he hopes to enlist TV companies, stations and advertisers, as well as community groups, in his effort. “This is a business issue,” he says. “We would like to see Nielsen weight the same on nativity. It is important to determine if someone watches English or Spanish-language TV.”
Sixty percent of the country’s 35 million Hispanics were born in the U.S., according to the 2000 census. Many are second- and third-generation Hispanics who, AIM asserts, are watching predominantly English-language TV. However, AIM TV says, more than 70% of Hispanic TV ad dollars last year went to Spanish-language outlets.
Nielsen Media Research Senior VP of Communications Jack Loftus said the research company is not aware of credible research that indicates that country of origin would be a better predictor of television viewing than language spoken in the home. Going forward, he said, Nielsen research shows that language spoken in the home is “far superior methodology” than country of origin or language spoken at work or in school.