Nielsen plans HDTV stopgap solution


So far, Nielsen Media Research ratings have ignored broadcast high-definition
signals. With the networks gearing up to significantly increase their
high-definition schedules this fall, Nielsen's oversight is grating on their

This week, ABC lobbyists asked the Federal Communications Commission to
pressure Nielsen to stop bypassing HDTV homes.

Although Nielsen's digital-measuring system is still in the testing phase,
the company said there's no reason for the networks to get worked up because a
stopgap solution incorporating parts of the new digital system to the current
analog one will be introduced by the end of the year.

Anyway, Nielsen officials said, there's no rush to measure digital homes, as only four of the 30,000 sampled in the past year were bypassed
because they had gone to HDTV.

"There's no big demand in the marketplace," a Nielsen
spokesman said.