Home Miami TV WSVN Suing Nielsen Over People Meters

WSVN Suing Nielsen Over People Meters


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.

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  1. Nielsen system is a JOKE. I mean everyone I know wether they are old, young, Black , White, Hispanic Etc ETC etc watches 7news. So I don’t see how this sytem could be correctly measuring the viewing audience. I mean I think its time the goverment stepped in and allowed another system to compete and show nielsen how to measure the tv audience in a precise and accurate way. I mean yeah tv viewing is down accross the board, but not to the degree that Nielsen is saying.

    Give em hell ANSIN

    oh and this time don’t cave in untill you get just


    I bet the Nielsen ratings have the new SFL morning show as the number one morning show in South FLorida with how they measure things.


  2. This senile old coot! What crazy thing will he do next? He is truly going to run that company into the ground as he takes increasing leave of his senses.

  3. Oh, Diego… Lol!

    But, I do agree with Diego, the Nielsen system is a joke! They use the honor-system, which honestly is a joke in today’s society. They paid me up-front, before I even did the diary of what I was watching. I did do the diary, but Nielsen is kind of throwing money away, a lot of people agree to it just because of the $35! I think there should be other companies, the monopoly needs to be removed, so they can have other companies. WSVN had a meeting yesterday, or the day before, in the newsplex, and they spoke regarding the law suit. The entire staff and talent were present. They also ran the story on the 6 PM news, not sure about the 10. Poor Ansin, he’s had a lot going on. From the condo developer wanting to build on the station property, to this. God forbid, I think he’s gonna die before the end of the suit!

  4. SVN wasn’t complaining too much when the Nielson ratings had their numbers much higher using diaries. maybe the wired system is more accurate and his ratings aren’t what he thought they were.

    • That’s because WSVN does have strong ratings. If anything I think the Nielson system was wrong about WPLG having the highest ratings. For a long time the quality of their newscast wasent as strong as their competitors. I also find it hard to believe that Dr Phil would beat out any local news at 5pm. Nielson did show that WFOR had made strong gains this year over WPLG. However WSVN has remained the same.

      • What are u basing these statements on? according to the current data, svn doesn’t have such strong ratings as they thought they did.

        plg’s newscasts are lacking in quality, in my opinion. the news judgement in story selection is lacking. they waste air time showing a dog rescue in minnesota instead of covering significant and important news of the day.

  5. I suspect the boxes are more accurate–but I know Nielsen is a monopoly which should be pummeled. Ansin is stil miserable, but I wonder why he was the only broadcaster to step up and call out Nielsen for what it is?

  6. Because no one else have the Grapefruits the size of Mr. Ansin to stand up to Nielsen. Wake up up big wigs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  7. Polar Bear,

    No, I wish I was though . Do you think you can put in a good word for me with Mr. Ansin? I would really be thankful.

    Speak on it !!!!!

  8. oh yesssssssssssssssssss maaam

    Now me and Belkys and Lynn you aint seen nothing yet we would have South Florida rolling on the ground.

    Maybe even Deco Drive would be another fit.

    If you think Belkys is silly when you get me started up there is no stopping me.

    thanks Polar Bear

  9. Ok,

    We can applaud Ansin for actually doing something by going after Nielsen since his newscasts had dropped 50% or so as they said in the report. But when you look at the big picture, 7News is well 7News. Aside from Diego, who’s like the only fanboy of belkys neurotic, (snicker), and PLG’s ratings aren’t so hot post-Dwight Lauderdale, I guess the only station to watch out for is WFOR.

    Graham, you did say ‘FOR’s ratings are starting to be significant, right? Considering the story choices and the emphasis on it’s I-Team, it’s a no-brainer. Other than that, Ansin’s just mad because:

    A.) He has no choice but to air Leno in Boston.
    B.) American Idol isn’t all hyped up this season since they added the 4th Judge.
    C.) Aside from their morning show, 7 News needs to grow not in ratings, but in story choices. This whole “if it bleeds it leads” is so 1993.

  10. YM —

    As someone who has worked in this market since the mid 1990’s, I can tell you that WSVN is FAR removed from the “if it bleeds, it leads” days. In fact, most nights, the “crime” story of the day doesn’t air until about midway through the first block of news. Now, it’s all about the “wow” factor or the “talker” story of the day…

    • Exactly.

      7News, since the 90s had a lot of respect…for being a tabloid. Sure, Mr. Burns, I mean Ed Ansin, has a lot of courage for being one of the few Mom-and-pop owned TV stations in the country, while the others 6, 10 and 4/33 and 39 are owned by mega-conglomerates.

      But the key issue is about why he’s upset that his station’s ratings are sagging shortly after the people meters were implemented. Would he consider that before, people would just write Channel 7 since they didn’t know what other station they were watching, but now with people meters, they don’t have to say it?

      And of course, Idol.

      Sure, Idol is a hit show, but looking at the ratings recently, it’s falling flat, considering with the new 4th Judge, who is the cousin Oliver of reality TV!!!

      That may add to the factor, and of course the bigger factor is, why would we want to waste 3 hours (4:00 to 7:00) watching the same stories with no updates, when we can go online and get the same stories and move on?

      I’ll admit it, I don’t watch as much TV as I used to, especially when it comes to local news. And it’s not just 7, it’s 6, 10 post-Dwight Lauderdale. I mean, predominately half of the anchor teams in South Florida was under Ansin’s watch. Julia Yarbough, Laurie Jennings, Charles Perez, the only two anchors I can think of that wasn’t tainted by the blood of Ansin, is Antonio Mora and Shannon Hori.

      My family watches WFOR, so you tell me.


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