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Nielsen Won’t Pull Plug on NYC Metered Diaries

6/01/2004 9:15 AM Eastern

In what appears to be a compromise for its critics, Nielsen Media Research won’t pull the plug on its old metered-dairy system Thursday when it launches its “Local People Meters” in New York.

As part of a transition period, Nielsen said Tuesday that it will continue to operate its metered diary for three more months so that its clients have the choice of either using those ratings data or data from the new LPMs commercially.

“Nielsen has had many conversations with its broad client constituencies and had heard opinions ranging from strong and comprehensive support to questions about the specifics of the New York implementation,” the ratings company said in a press release.

“As a consequence, Nielsen believes that it is in the best interest of its clients for both systems to be run concurrently during a transition period,” Nielsen added.

The ratings service -- facing criticism from broadcasters like News Corp. and African-American and Hispanic groups -- delayed the launch of LPMs in New York for two months, pushing the date back to Thursday.

Those critics -- including coalition Don’t Count Us Out, as well as several New York City Council members -- have asked Nielsen to delay its LPM launch even later.

But Nielsen said last week that it would proceed with the LPM deployment, even though the Media Ratings Council declined to accredit the LPMs in New York.

On Tuesday, Nielsen also said it would work with the MRC to discuss “technical questions that were raised during the process of accrediting the New York LPM system.”

In the past, Nielsen has “regularly” introduced new systems, such as set meter/diary panels, without accreditation and applied for accreditation up to six months after the services were launched, according to the ratings service.

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