That’s something we may never know, unless we can get someone to leak that figure to us. We reached out to Bubba for a comment but he did not respond. Whatever that figure was, it was enough to make Nielsen happy enough to stay away from a full blown public trial, which would have put many of the details about its methodology on trial as well. And that’s something the ratings firm has always tried to avoid.
Most, if not all, of Nielsen’s accusations against radio companies in the past have been settled behind closed doors and with no details released. The two sides went into mediation several times and the start of the trial was pushed back several times. In the end this case came to an end like all others Nielsen ratings cases, with very few details released about the settlement, and Nielsen clearly the winner. Three years of ugly back-and-forth and paying attorney’s to argue with each other and Bubba winds up forking over money to Nielsen for attempting to cheat the ratings system.
Nielsen first brought ratings tampering accusations against Bubba back in 2015. The trial was set to begin later this month. Nielsen was willing to go to trial against Bubba, insisting he seriously damaged the integrity of its ratings system by making contact with at least one PPM panelist. They were seeking $1 million in damages. The settlement was reached last week. As part of that settlement, Bubba admitted that prior to the lawsuit he had not previously disclosed all contacts with Nielsen panelists. In addition, Clem disclosed that he is not presently in contact with any Nielsen panelist, he promised to never knowingly communicate with any active Nielsen panelist in the future, and agreed to immediately notify Nielsen of any future contact with Nielsen’s active panelists. Clem also agreed to make an undisclosed payment to Nielsen. Any future infractions by Clem will be punishable by a court-ordered injunction and additional financial damages payable to Nielsen.
In a Nielsen press release, Bubba said, “I understand how important it is to the radio industry that the Nielsen ratings be free from bias and I deeply regret interfering with Nielsen’s collection of listening data.” And Nielsen added that it accepts Bubba’s statement that he regrets his past actions and that he will never engage in similar conduct in the future. Nielsen reaffirms that none of Clem’s contacts with Nielsen panelists materially impacted Nielsen’s audience estimates. Nielsen’s lawsuit was filed as part of an ongoing initiative to safeguard the impartiality of the company’s audio estimates and to protect the integrity of its ratings process.