According to Spanish Broadcasting System, Nielsen notified the company earlier this week that big changes were being made regarding the weighting of Hispanic listeners in the Los Angeles market. The company says the changes – the removal of 4 panelists – will have a drastic impact on its ratings. SBS General Counsel Richard Lara called Nielsen’s changes “unfair and discriminatory,” and said the ratings firm was attacking U.S.- based Hispanics.
Here’s Lara’s complete statement: “Earlier this week, Spanish Broadcasting System, the owner and operator of 17 radio stations serving the top Hispanic markets throughout the United States for over 30 years, received disconcerting news from The Nielsen Company. Nielsen announced its intention to make sweeping, retroactive changes to its audience measurement service based on an internal decision to remove a number of Hispanic households from its ratings sampling pool. SBS, and other Spanish-language broadcasters, vehemently object and protest such unilateral, and seemingly, discriminatory actions taken by Nielsen, which unfairly and disproportionally exclude Hispanic-listener households from the ratings methodology. The restated ratings and rankings reports are, in SBS’s view unreliable, and inaccurately suggest that Spanish-language stations have dropped from top 5 rankings to number 15 or lower. This cannot stand. SBS will continue to faithfully serve its Hispanic-listener communities and will not tolerate unfair and discriminatory attacks on Spanish language broadcasters. We will not stop until Nielson’s prejudicial and discriminatory attacks on U.S.-based Hispanics ceases.”
Nielsen sent the following response to Radio Ink Friday morning: “The integrity of our data is paramount and that is why Nielsen removed four homes from the Los Angeles PPM panel effective with the April monthly audio currency data. An internal review concluded that these homes did not meet our data quality and integrity standards. We conducted an analysis of data from October 2017 to March 2018 and determined that the data for these months will be reissued without these homes included. We have reviewed the composition and characteristics of the balance of the Los Angeles PPM panel without these homes and have determined that it meets our quality standards. The in-tab sample for the Los Angeles population overall and for Hispanic Spanish language dominant households in particular is representative of the market. 20.6% of the market is Hispanic Spanish Dominant and our goal is to have the composition of the sample come as close as possible to this proportion. In April, we indexed at 100 for Hispanic Spanish Dominant which means that the proportion of the in-tab sample equaled the percent of the population. In March, we indexed at 99. Previously with these four homes included we indexed at 101. Nielsen stands behind the quality and integrity of the Los Angeles radio listening estimates.”