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Univision drops lawsuit challenging Nielsen's new TV ratings system

UPI News Service, 11/30/2004 

Univision Communications Inc. has dropped a lawsuit challenging Nielsen Media Research's new TV ratings system, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The Spanish-language media giant claimed in the suit, filed in June, that Nielsen's new ratings system underestimated Latino viewership in Los Angeles. In a statement issued jointly with Univision Monday, Nielsen said it had dropped a counterclaim against Univision.

The suit was aimed at blocking Nielsen's July launch in Los Angeles of a method of measuring TV viewing habits that employed devices known as "local people meters." Univision called the practice "unfair, unlawful and deceptive."

In the suit, Univision claimed the new ratings system would undercount young Hispanic Americans and large Hispanic families, and would overcount "Hispanic American households that speak mostly or only English."

Broadcasters use Nielsen ratings to set TV advertising rates.

A Los Angeles judge dealt Univision a setback in July when he refused to order Nielsen not to switch to people meters, and ruled that Univision had failed to provide sufficient evidence to support its claim.

Despite the agreement to drop the suit, Univision says the Nielsen sample still gives advertisers a distorted picture of TV viewing patterns.

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Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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