In an important vote of confidence for Arbitron's portable people meter (PPM) measurement system, NBCUniversal this morning said it would utilize the service to measure out-of-home television viewing for its coverage of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.
The move comes as industry ratings watchdog the Media Rating Council has pulled radio ratings accreditation for Arbitron's PPM service in five important markets: Cleveland, Portland OR, Riverside-San Bernardino, Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.
The move also is the highest profile use of the PPM for out-of-home TV audience measurement to date.
NBCU said the research would be part of its so-called "Billion Dollar Lab," which will factor in the data from out-of-home viewing of the Olympic games via a panel of 69,000 PPM panelists in 44 top U.S. media markets, currently being measured by Arbitron.
"Television screens are everywhere and the 2012 Summer Olympics will be a 17-day, round-the-clock television event for avid fans and viewers," stated Carol Edwards, senior vice president-cross platform services.