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Nielsen Scraps Midsized-Market Meters

Nielsen Media Research scotched its plans to create an enhanced meter to track viewing in midsized markets, officials confirmed Friday.

The ratings company was looking to develop and install a unique, cutting-edge metering system for TV markets ranked 26-60. But in a March 20 letter to clients, Nielsen said it would instead use the same metering platform “that is the foundation of all National and Local People Meter samples today” in those midsized markets.

The benefit, Nielsen said, is that “we will have a single People Meter technology in the 60 largest local markets, representing over 80 million television households, and in the national sample. This will provide greater consistency and flexibility within the local markets, as well as greater consistency between national and local measurement.”

But Nielsen plans to incorporate some of the enhancements it had developed to its overall metering system, including the use of infrared technology in remote controls to identify the source of viewing.

“The use of IR for source detection will greatly simplify the installation process [for meters] by reducing the amount of wiring and will potentially improve acceptance rates among target households,” Nielsen told clients.