Watson Weighs in for Nielsen


Nielsen supporters continue to weigh in before the Wednesday Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Fair Ratings Act.

The latest comes in a letter to the leaders of the Commerce Committee released by the office of California Democratic Congresswoman Diane Watson, who represents Los Angeles.

Watson says the bill unfairly targets Nielsen and its Local People Meter system, saying "I do not believe any unilateral call for blocking or rolling back the technology through government regulation is the answer."

She is also concerned that requiring mandatory accreditation of any TV ratings system, as the bill requires, might hurt smaller networks, stations and agencies who would have to pay for that accreditation. She also says meters in L.A. are showing more diverse viewing (24% more channels in May 2005 than May 2004), which she called helpful information.

The bill would require any TV ratings system or change to the system to be pre-approved by the Media Rating Council. The council, which was created by Congress in the 1960s but is funded by clients would be required to report annually to Congress and other government agencies.