Update: I’m still trying to find the lawsuit document.
So far we know that WSVN is asserting that Nielsen is abusing its monopoly power and overcharging for the ratings.
A story ran during 7News showed WSVN staff gathered in the newsplex as Ed Ansin delivered news of the lawsuit. Sunbeam claims when local people meters (LPMs) went live on October 1st 2008 WSVN’s ratings dropped by as much as 50% and now American Idol’s ratings for Miami/Ft. Lauderdale are down 40%. Other markets using LPMs have not experienced that drop. As a result of the ratings drop WSVN is losing over $1 million dollars per month from having to charge less for their advertising space.
Patrick Frasier who reported the news asked an interesting question, if the 50% drop in ratings is something normal that means that the previous diaries method Nielsen used for 30 years was flawed. And if the diaries method was accurate then that should mean the local people meters method is flawed. Nielsen maintains both measuring methods are accurate. That still doesn’t explain how the station lost 50% of its audience, in every demographic.
So far Sunbeam is going it alone and no other stations have joined.
Breaking News, via @WSVN and @Eglin: WSVN-TV is filing an anti-trust lawsuit against Nielsen Co. over the new ratings system. According to a tipster, WSVN had an “all hands on deck meeting at 3pm” on the matter. We’ll have more info soon.