The New York State Supreme Court Tuesday (Feb. 16) ruled
that the Spanish Broadcasting System must continue to encode its radio signals
so they can be measured by Arbitron's Portable People Meters.
That is according to the PPM Coalition, which was not happy with the decision
but said it would continue to push for reforms of the meters, which they argue
undercount minorities. SBS is part of the coalition.
"The PPM Coalition is disappointed that the New York State Court continued
the injunction requiring Spanish Broadcasting System to encode its programming
for Arbitron's inaccurate ratings system," the coalition said in a
statement Wednesday. "However, the Court was concerned only with the
contractual relationship between the parties and could not consider the more
significant issue of the decimation of diversity on the nation's airwaves. That
is why the Coalition has been looking to Congress, the Federal Communications
Commission, and the state attorneys general to provide relief from this serious
The court continued the injunction forcing that encoding Tuesday after earlier
issuing a temporary restraining order mandating the encoding, which SBS had
discontinued earlier this month. Arbitron sued for breach of contract and
damages as well as seeking the injunction restoring the encoding.
According to David Pawlik, attorney for the coalition, the judge concluded that
Arbitron could prove damages if the encoding were terminated, which was all she
had to conclude to continue the TRO, he said
the judge also advised the parties to enter into mediation on the breach of
contract suit. He said the two sides had talked Wednesday morning, but said no
mediation had been set up at press time, to his knowledge.