Nielsen Media Research said it will roll out its controversial "Local People
Meters" in the top-10 DMAS over the next two years.
The ratings service said LPMs will be in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and
San Francisco next year, and the remaining top-10 markets -- Washington, D.C.;
Detroit; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Atlanta; and Philadelphia (which has been
experimenting with Arbitron Inc.'s "Portable People Meters") -- the following year.
LPMs were launched in DMA No. 6, Boston, last year in place of
the former meter/diary system, and they were boycotted by major broadcasters there
until a break in those ranks recently, when Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. signed on.
Other broadcasters in the DMA continue to boycott the LPMs and although
sources said nothing appears imminent, Nielsen said negotiations are continuing.
While the meters can deliver key demographic information to programmers and
advertisers overnight, broadcasters have criticized the technology and
questioned its lowering of typical measured viewing.
Nielsen claimed support from NBC, ABC and prominent top-10 market MSOs
Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable (in New York and Los Angeles) and Adlink (the Los Angeles interconnect).
Nielsen will also nearly double the size of the national People Meter sample
over the next four years.