Last Ditch for LPM's L.A. Foes


The Don't Count Us Out Coalition is holding a rally on the steps of City Hall in Los Angeles Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to stop Nielsen Media Research's rollout of "Local People Meters" there Thursday.

The Coalition launched its campaign against the meters in the same venue in May. Since then, Nielsen has launched its meters in New York, though it is still working on getting them accredited by the Media Ratings Council, and has pledged to roll them out in L.A., Chicago, and San Francisco by September.

The Coalition, comprising some minority groups and partially backed by Fox, is trying to block the roll-out, claiming the meters undercount minority broadcast viewing (including to some Fox stations). Nielsen counters that the meters simply more accurately reflect viewer's departure for other media, including cable.

The coalition held a similar rally in New York in advance of that roll-out. In part by invoking the issue as one of civil rights, the coalition has been successful in getting support from some lawmakers, including California Senator Barbara Boxer, who will head up a Hill hearing on the Meters July 15.

But Nielsen has garnered support, too, including from the NAACP.

Hispanic broadcaster Univision has sued Nielsen over the meters, and attempted to get an injunction against their L.A. roll-out. A judge last week denied the injunction and suggested the meter's results may be protected speech under the First Amendment.