NEWS14 April 2010

Spanish Broadcasting System ‘switches PPM encoding back on’

North America Technology

US— Spanish Broadcasting System has reportedly re-started encoding its radio content so that it can be detected by Arbitron’s portable people meter (PPM) devices.

Reports in the US trade press claim that the broadcaster switched the encoding back on late last week following a meeting with Arbitron. The two firms are said to be in the process of settling their dispute and will hold a conference at the end of the month once settlement papers have been finalised.

The wrangle started in late-2009 when SBS became dissatisfied with the PPM ratings service and stopped paying licence fees to Arbitron, who in turn stopped providing the broadcaster with ratings. SBS then stopped encoding its broadcasts but Arbitron went to court and was granted a temporary restraining order forcing the broadcaster to switch the encoding back on.

That order was reversed at the beginning of April – but at the time SBS chief revenue officer Frank Flores said the broadcaster was looking for an “amicable resolution” with Arbitron.

Neither company was prepared to comment at the time of publication.