Nielsen Unifies Local TV Language Samples, Will Scrap Hispanic Panel In November

In another important step toward general advertising marketplace assimilation, the audiences of local Hispanic TV outlets will soon be measured via the same marketplace currency as the rest of the local U.S. TV marketplace. Nielsen Tuesday said that effective with its November local TV measurement cycle, all local ratings for Hispanic programming will be based on the Nielsen Station Index (NSI), which is the same sample used to measure all of the U.S. local English-language TV outlets.

Concurrent with the change, Nielsen will officially retire its Nielsen Hispanic Station Index panels, which had been used to measure how Hispanic households watched local TV.

"We believe using a single underlying currency sample that allows reporting of both general and Hispanic markets will afford additional convenience, ease of use and flexibility to all client constituencies, both buyers and sellers," Nielsen said in a notice sent to clients on Tuesday.

Nielsen said it is able to make the transition to a single, integrated English- and Spanish-language sample now, because its general market panels are now representative enough of Hispanic households to measure their viewing behavior accurately.

The move follows an earlier convergence that took place in Nielsen's national TV audience sample in 2006, when the major Spanish-language TV networks - Univision and Telemundo - began selling their advertising inventory on the basis of a single, unified general market sample, after years of maintaining a separate national Hispanic ratings service.

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