SBS Is Encoding, But Fight With Arbitron Is Heated
February 15, 2010 at 4:30 AM (PT)
The war of words has escalated between THE PPM COALITION and ARBITRON after ARBITRON won a Temporary Restraining Order (NET NEWS 2/11) requiring SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM (SBS) to resume encoding its broadcasting signals for ARBITRON's PPM until TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16th. This order applied to nine SBS radio properties in five cities across the U.S. ARBITRON suspended delivery of PPM data to SBS in DECEMBER 2009.
"SBS has existing contracts with ARBITRON for both the PPM service and to encode its broadcast signals that remain in effect," ARBITRON Chief Legal Officer TIMOTHY T. SMITH, said last week. "We expect SBS to honor the terms of its agreements."
SBS is back to encoding, but isn't happy about it.
THE PPM COALITION has written to the FCC, saying "On THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11th,2010, ARBITRON, INC. ("Arbitron") escalated its attack on minority targeted radio broadcasters by filing a breach of contract action against SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC. ("SBS") in NEW YORK State Court. The suit alleges that SBS breached an agreement with ARBITRON when it terminated the broadcast of PERSONAL PEOPLE METER ("PPM") encoding information on its stations. SBS is a member of the PPM COALITION, which has requested that the Commission conduct a detailed investigation of the flawed PPM ratings methodology that has had devastating effects on radio stations serving minority audiences. ARBITRON's PPM surveys consistently and dramatically undercount."
SBS is a member of The PPM COALITION, which also includes THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK OWNED BROADCASTERS, THE SPANISH RADIO ASSOCIATION, THE MINORITY MEDIA AND
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, THE ASSOCIATION OF HISPANIC ADVERTISING AGENCIES, BORDER MEDIA PARTNERS, ENTRAVISION COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION, ICBC BROADCAST HOLDINGS, INC. and UNIVISION COMMUNICATIONS INC.
The COALITION claims "ARBITRON asserts a breach of contract without adequately putting the contracts in perspective related to the ongoing proceedings before the Commission and Congress," and "renews its request that the Commission investigate the accuracy and reliability of ARBITRON's PPM methodology, particularly in light of the recent decisions by the MRC not to accredit and ARBITRON's recent tactics toward SBS."