News

Viacom to Nielsen: Why the Lower Nick Ratings?

11/14/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said the
media company is working with the Nielsen Co. to
investigate a sudden mid-September drop in Nickelodeon’s
ratings that Dauman called “inexplicable”
and an “anomaly.”

Speaking on Viacom’s fourth-quarter earnings call
with analysts, Dauman says the double-digit drop in
Nick’s ratings just as toymakers and other marketers
are ramping up
for the holiday
season helped
keep the company’s
ad revenue
under its doubledigit
growth targets.

“This mid-September,
we have
experienced
an inexplicable
drop in Nickelodeon’s
ratings,
which are historically very
predictable,” he
said. “We have
had extensive
discussions with
Nielsen to determine
the causes
of this anomaly
and we have been working side by side with them to
understand and rectify the situation. The Media Rating
Council, the industry’s independent auditing organization,
at our joint invitation, is also investigating
this aberration in the kids’ ratings.”

Dauman said that in looking at Nick’s ratings, they
are looking at independent set-top box ratings, which
show “meaningfully different viewership trends.”

In a statement, Nielsen confirmed that it was working
with Viacom and the MRC to assess Nickeodeon’s
ratings.


Jon Lafayette is business editor of Broadcasting & Cable.
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