NEWS6 May 2011

FCC ends Arbitron probe

Legal North America

US— The Federal Communications Commission has accepted a request from a coalition of radio station owners to end its enquiry into Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) audience measurement system, which the coalition previously accused of undercounting their listeners and damaging their advertising revenue.

The investigation kicked off in early 2009 after a long-running dispute between Arbitron and some of its clients, such as Spanish Broadcasting Systems, represented by the PPM Coalition (PPMC), over claims that PPMs failed to accurately reflect Hispanic, urban and minority radio audiences.

By April last year, however, Arbitron’s new CEO William Kerr had managed to smooth relationships with the coalition with an agreement to “move forward collaboratively” to address any PPM-related sampling concerns.

The FCC said that “based upon the progress that has been made to date, PPMC asserts that no further investigation by the commission is warranted”.