And speaking of Bubba, in a 26-page court filing, the ratings firm defends one of its expert witnesses, David Haas, by calling Bubba The Love Sponge’s claim that Haas’ testimony should be disqualified “a straw man argument.” Bubba wants Haas’ testimony excluded from his ratings tampering case because, among other reasons, he’s never worked in, nor does he have expertise in, the radio or measurement industries.
Haas was hired by Nielsen to calculate the financial damage done to Nielsen by the alleged ratings tampering. Nielsen wants $1 million in damages. In arguing his testimony should be allowed, Nielsen says Haas was brought in as a “damages expert” and has an MBA with a specialization in accounting. “He is more than qualified to render an opinion on the economic harm Nielsen suffered as result of Defendants’ ratings tampering in this case.”
Nielsen says so far it has accumulated nearly $715,000 in legal expenses in this case as well as outside security consulting fees of over $40,000. Those expenses aside, Nielsen says the bulk of Nielsen’s damages calculation determined by Haas involved quantifying harm to Nielsen’s reputation and goodwill. Haas did that calculation by analyzing documents and conducting interviews with Nielsen personnel about its contract renewal with Cox to determine the harm suffered from entering into the 2017 renewal agreement with Cox, and foregoing the price increases Nielsen typically obtains when it enters new agreements with its customers. Haas also calculated Nielsen’s expected future damages and used financial modeling techniques to calculate the present value of this future harm. The court document states, “This type of financial calculation is not within the understanding of ‘the average lay person’ and is therefore also appropriately addressed by an expert witness, who can assist the fact finder with such a calculation.”
Of course, Cox, or any radio company, would want some financial break from the ratings firm if it was ultimately determined that ratings were tampered with and advertisers made buys based on flawed numbers. Nielsen says, as a result of this case, Cox will unequivocally seek future pricing concessions from Nielsen. The ratings firm says that Cox has already taken the position that, “due to Defendants’ wrongdoing, it will still be seeking substantial pricing concessions when negotiations for long-term renewals of the audio and television contracts take place later this year.”