Viacom Pact Boosts ‘People Meter’ Sample


Nielsen Media Research announced Tuesday that its newly signed multiyear
agreement with Viacom Inc. will enable the researcher to begin "the largest-ever
expansion of Nielsen's national ‘People Meter’ sample."

Viacom's contract encompasses the CBS and UPN television networks;
syndicators King World Productions and Paramount Domestic Television; its 12
cable networks (from MTV: Music Television and Nickelodeon to Comedy Central and
Showtime); and its 35 owned-and-operated TV stations across 28 markets.

By 2006, when the researcher expects all elements in its expansion plan to be
complete, "the effective size of Nielsen's national People Meter sample will
nearly double from 5,000 homes to approximately 10,000 homes," Nielsen said in a
prepared statement.

In addition, a Nielsen spokesman confirmed over the weekend that Viacom's
WBZ-TV (a CBS affiliate) and WSBK-TV (a UPN affiliate) in Boston have signed on
subscribers to the company’s "Local People Meters."

Boston in May 2002 became the first market measured by Local People Meters,
although the broadcast-TV stations in that DMA have been reluctant to sign up,
reportedly fearful that cable’s ratings will look better than broadcast's.

Buoyed by recent corporate contracts with ABC, NBC, Comcast Corp. and Adlink,
the Los Angeles interconnect, Nielsen announced plans months ago to roll out its
Local People Meter technology to all of the top 10 DMAs into 2006. Los Angeles
is slated for 2004, with New York and Chicago among several due in