NEWS7 January 2008

Philippines court throws out AGB Nielsen lawsuit

Broadcaster did not give ratings firm time to investigate bribery claims, judge says

PHILIPPINES— A lawsuit filed against AGB Nielsen over the alleged bribery of TV ratings panellists has been thrown out by a court.

The judge said that the suit for a total of 81 million pesos (£983,416 ) was prematurely filed, as the contract between AGB Nielsen and broadcaster ABS-CBN gives the ratings provider 30 days to look into any data problems, and three months to rectify them.

ABS-CBN filed the suit in December following claims that a rival broadcaster had been bribing AGB Nielsen’s panellists in the city of Bacolod in an attempt to boost their audience share.

AGB Nielsen said its investigations had identified 79 panel homes that had been contacted by the GMA network, however GMA has categorically denied any attempt to manipulate ratings, saying: “It is not GMA’s style to play dirty.”

In a statement today, AGB Nielsen said it had completed an audit of 93% of the homes in its panel, and would present its findings to industry representatives in the next two weeks.

The firm said: “There is still no evidence that the broadcaster contact with panel homes has had any impact on audience viewing behaviour or share.”

ABS-CBN is appealing the decision to throw out its lawsuit.

Author: Robert Bain

Related links:

AGB Nielsen ordered to stop surveying ‘bribed’ Filipino panellists

Philippines broadcaster sues AGB Nielsen over ‘bribed’ panellists