Nielsen Recruits WCVI to Better Measure Viewership Among Latinos

Sep 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research has enlisted the help of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a 19-year-old Hispanic policy and research organization, to improve measurement of the TV viewership among Latinos, an issue that has heated up in the battle against rollouts of Nielsen’s Local People Meters in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago this year.

According to the announcement, “An academic team of nationally recognized Latino social scientists will evaluate and make recommendations regarding all aspects of Nielsen’s television audience measurement services.” The academic team’s hands-on work will include analyzing system designs, sampling, recruitment and training.

Among the researchers on the team: Dr. Max Castro, professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University; Dr. Henry Flores, dean of the Graduate School at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio; and Andrew Hernandez, a professor of leadership at St. Mary’s. Dr. Paul Lavrakas, VP of methodological research, will head the initiative for Nielsen.

The WCVI is the research and policy arm of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, the largest and oldest nonpartisan Latino voter participation organization in the United States.

Antonio Gonzalez, president of the WCVI and the SVREP, said, “Everyone in the television business has heard of Nielsen, but very few people in the Latino community know Nielsen. Our new relationship is going to change that.”

“Our research will lead to a better comprehension of television viewing patterns among Latinos,” Dr. Flores said. “We look forward to working with Nielsen to address the dynamic changes of the market and to provide an objective third-party evaluation of all aspects of the television ratings system. This is a huge benefit to Latinos.”

Susan Whiting, president and CEO of Nielsen Media Research, said she is “confident that our hands-on work with these highly respected researchers will greatly enhance Nielsen’s ability to more accurately measure the television viewing behavior of a highly diverse and rapidly growing Latino community.”