NAB Ready to Work With Burns on Ratings Measure

Jul 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Eddie Fritts said that “in the absence of voluntary resolution” of issues related to accurate and reliable ratings, his group is prepared to work with Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., on ensuring the Media Rating Council’s “continued robust involvement in maintaining a fair and reliable media measurement system.”

In a letter sent Wednesday to Sen. Burns, who recently introduced a bill that would give the MRC real enforcement power over ratings services and that would prevent ratings services from selling data until those services have been accredited, Mr. Fritts said, “As a matter of principle, NAB generally prefers voluntary industry cooperation to additional government involvement as a solution to these issues.”

But he added: “We believe such products should be fully audited and the methods by which their data is determined should be made sufficiently transparent prior to their use in the marketplace.”

Nielsen issued a statement saying: “We are surprised that the NAB, which has been a long-standing champion of the free market and a free broadcasting system, would abandon its principles under pressure from some of its largest members who are so aggressively seeking government support to protect their financial self-interests. And this at the expense of minority-owned channels who rely on more accurate ratings technology to effectively compete. As the old saying goes: It is about he who foolishly rides the back of the tiger. …”