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CAB backs Nielsen changes

The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau Wednesday endorsed Nielsen Media
Research's planned changes to its local-TV-ratings system.

The ratings company said last week that by fourth-quarter 2003, it would begin
delivering broadcast and cable ratings to clients at the same time in one
computer file, rather than delivering broadcast ratings first by a couple of
weeks. Nielsen also said it would begin breaking out cable-only network ratings
from combined cable/satellite numbers in local markets.

The distinction is important because ads inserted by cable systems are not
inserted by the direct-broadcast satellite systems that carry those networks. CAB president and CEO Joe
Ostrow said the moves will help cable by allowing advertisers to make
side-by-side comparisons of broadcasting and cable and by making it easier to
make local cable ad buys.