New York - Sep 24, 2008 - In a unanimous decision, the New York City Council resolved to ask the FCC to investigate the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings system. The PPM is already being criticized by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), the Spanish Radio Association (SRA) and the Minority Media Telecommunications Council. The minority media groups believe the "PPM methodology grossly undercounts and misrepresents the number of minority radio listeners."The groups are concerned that full implementation of the PPM in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco could seriously undermine the financial viability of minority-owned radio stations.
Arbitron cites a precedent where Congress and the Commission have already recognized that the FCC lacks the authority to regulate audience ratings. Congress and the Commission have expressly stated that the reliability and methodologies of audience ratings services are best left to private industry groups such as the Media Rating Council (MRC).
Arbitron has also supplied its own evidence that the PPM results to date show strong results from Spanish and Black audiences. Aribtron has continued its meetings with the FCC and other government officials to alleviate the concerns.
The FCC Public Notice soliciting comments on a PPM investigation had reply comments due Sept. 24. Reply comments are due Oct. 6.