Arbitron Releases Houston PPM Test Data

Sep 20, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Arbitron released its first batch of data from its Houston test of its Personal People Meter technology. Compared with meter and diary data compiled by Nielsen Media Research, the PPMs show higher average quarter-hour viewing for all types of television channels. The Big 4 broadcast affiliates were up 15 percent among viewers in the 18 to 49 demographic, other English-language broadcasters were up 62 percent, Spanish-language broadcast was up 36 percent, large cable networks were up 9 percent, medium cable networks were up 148 percent and small cable network showed the biggest gains, up 254 percent.

Using meters made some changes in the rankings of the stations in the market. Under both ratings systems, KTRK-TV was the top-ranked station, but using the PPM, Univision station KXLN-TV overtook No. 2 rated KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate. Also WB affiliate KHWB-TV moved up from 6th to 5th, switching places with NBC affiliate KPRC.

Some of the gains in viewership came from the inclusion of out-of-home watching. About 15 percent of most channels’ viewing took place out of home, with much of it happening during the daytime. Pierre Bouvard, president of Portable People Meter for Arbitron, said the figures exploded the myth that out-of-home viewing was mostly done by “guys in bars.”

The PPMs also measured the use of digital video recorders, which were in about 9 percent of the sample homes. In those homes about 93 percent of TV viewing was of original broadcasts, with 7 percent of viewing time-shifted. About 80 percent of the time-shifted programs that were viewed were viewed same day or next day, the meters found.