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Viacom and Nielsen Investigating Unexplained Drop in Nickelodeon Ratings; Viacom Posts Higher Profits

Nov 10, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said his company and the Nielsen Co. will look into an “anomaly” in ratings for Nickelodeon, Advertising Age reports, citing a Bloomberg News story.

The sudden double-digit drop in ratings, which Dauman called “inexplicable,” occurred in mid-Septembers.

Addressing the subject during a fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts, Dauman is quoted in Multichannel News saying: "This mid-September we have experienced an inexplicable drop in Nickelodeon’s ratings, which are historically very predictable. 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 noted that the ratings drop just as marketers are positioning for the holidays had an impact on ad revenues, which fell short of targets. Even so, profits topped analysts’ estimates for the quarter.

Nielsen confirmed that it is looking into the problem and working with Viacom and the Media Rating Council.

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