House Committee Investigating Arbitron's Portable People Meters

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is indeed investigating Arbitron's Portable People Meters.

The committee sent a letter to the FCC last week asking for information from the commission's ongoing investigation, and plans to conduct its own original fact-finding, according to a spokesperson.

The congressional investigation was partly prompted by complaints from some of the Brooklyn
constituents of committee Chairman Edolphus Townes. Arbitron has said it is happy to talk about the meters with Congress, the FCC and stakeholders, pointing out it has already been doing that, as well as making improvements to the technology as a result of that dialog.

While it is primarily about radio listening, the issue is important to TV stations as well.

The FCC uses Arbitron markets in its multiple ownership rules, which determine in which markets TV, radio and newspapers can be co-owned.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.