Fox Stations Endorse Local People Meters, Make Multi-Year Nielsen Deal

Opposition to Nielsen's plan to deploy people meters in local TV markets has been breaking down, but a deal announced Friday by the Fox Television Station Group provides new impetus for an aggressive rollout of local people meters.

As part of the new agreement, Fox stations in nine of the top 10 markets have signed up for Nielsen's local people meter service, which currently is being converted from set-meter diary service to people meters.

While deployment of the first people meter market in Boston was contentious, with many local broadcasters initially rejecting the service, most have now signed on. Nielsen has embarked on an aggressive plan to introduce people meters into the top 10 markets, which represent $8 billion in local TV ad spending.

Viacom, including the local CBS and UPN stations, as well as syndicators King World and Paramount, have already made a major commitment to the plan, which would also help boost the national TV ratings sample from 5,000 to 10,000 homes.

Nielsen also has already received commitments from NBC, ABC, Comcast, Time Warner Cable in New York and Adlink in Los Angeles for local people meter service.

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