Friday, March 13, 2009

Broadcasters dispute Nielsen data on TV transition

Nielsen numbers on the country's readiness for digital television have been used by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, and contributed to the decision to delay the transition from Feb. 17 to June 12. So did fears that rural areas were especially unprepared. But the National Association of Broadcasters disputes those numbers, saying they don't take into account households with unconnected converter boxes or coupons for converter boxes that have not yet been used, writes Ira Teinowitz for TelevisionWeek.

“This methodology and classification overstates the number of truly unprepared households, and given the weight and widespread dissemination of Nielsen research, these reports can contribute to an unnecessary level of concern that the transition is not going well," David K. Rehr, NAB president and CEO of the NAB, wrote Nielsen in a letter yesterday. Nielsen spokeswoman Anne Kissel Elliot, says the company is "reporting on whether people can actually receive a digital signal, not whether they are preparing to receive a digital signal." (Read more)

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