Nielsen Says LPM's Boost D.C., Philly Numbers

In its latest push to promote the efficacy of its Local People Meter ratings system, Nielsen Thursday said that African-American-themed shows are earning higher ratings in Washington and Philadelphia under the LPMs than the old set-top and diary system.

Nielsen plans to go live with ratings from ts controversial LPMs in those markets on June 30, after a month-long delay. The meters have been criticized as undercounting minorities and younger viewers.

Washington and Philadelphia will become the sixth and seventh TV markets to convert to LPMs and Nielsen plans to use the new meters in all top ten TV markets.

Nielsen says that comparing May ratings from LPMs and meter/diaries in Washington and Philadelphia reveals that “African American themed shows more than hold their own among African American audiences under the LPMs.”

For example, in May, the top five programs for African-American viewers in Phialdelphia, per LPMs, were UPN’s Girlfriends, Half & Half, America’s Next Top Model; Fox’s American Idol, and UPN sitcom One on One. Under the set-top/diary ratings, those top five programs were CSI, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, Girlfriends and Half & Half.

African-American themed shows did not fare quite as well in Washington D.C. Both ratings systems ranked Fox’s American Idol -- the Tuesday and Wednesday editions – as the top two shows in the market among African American viewers.

Under LPMs, ABC’s Primetime Live, Fox’s House, and the NBA playoffs completed the top five, while set-top/diaries reported House, CSI and Without a Trace. 

But Nielsen says that, in Washington, three African-American themed shows made it into the top 30 with LPMs, compared to just two under the former system.