Nielsen disagrees with the conclusions of a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found live TV viewing by 8- to 18- year-olds had declined by almost a half-hour over the past five years.
"Our data, which are based on observed behavior measured by digital meters, show that TV viewing for this group is actually up, not down as Kaiser found," said Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes.
In unveiling the study to, among others, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Kaiser said that live viewing had decreased from three hours, four minutes in 2004 to two hours, 39 minutes in 2009, a drop of 25 minutes.
According to Holmes, the ratings company's data for that same age group and five-year period, based on digital meters rather than the diaries it says Kaiser based its numbers on, shows an increase from three hours, seven minutes to three hours and 14 minutes.
Vicky Rideout, director of Kaiser's Program for the Study of Media and Health, responded: "It does seem to be the case that we show a little more time-shifted TV and a little less live TV viewing than Nielsen does."