FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 19, Pages 14991 to 15893, October 24 - November 10, 2011 Page: 15,029
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than one of which shall be a week between the months of April and September.' Over time, The Nielsen
Company ("Nielsen") became the primary surveying organization through which a petitioner could
obtain television surveys.'3 Nielsen, which routinely surveys television markets to obtain television
stations' viewership, conducts four-week audience surveys four times a year (i.e., February, May, July
and November "sweep periods"). The Bureau has found that replacing each week required under KCST-
TV with a sweep period is acceptable and, if anything, adds to the accuracy of the audience statistics
because of the increased sample size.'4 Accordingly, a petitioner may submit the results from two sweep
periods in each year. For use in exclusivity waivers, a petitioner may purchase survey data from Nielsen
on either a community-specific or system-specific basis."5 If a petitioner is purchasing survey data on a
system-specific basis where two or more communities are involved, the percentage of diaries from each
community surveyed must be approximately the same as the percentage of the total population for each
community served by the cable system. 16 In order to produce the data required for exclusivity waivers,
Nielsen re-tabulates the data that it collects from over-the-air households for its routine audience sweep
periods, selecting in-tab diaries from its database from the area served by a cable system or an individual
cable community."7 It should be noted that, despite the fact that a petitioner is purchasing a re-tabulation
of data that has already been collected, it is still obligated to notify interested parties prior to the purchase
of such data, pursuant to the requirements set forth in Section 76.54(c) of the Commission's rules.'8 Such
1247 C.F.R. 76.54(b). The criteria set forth in KCST-TV require that two separate surveys be performed
pursuant to Section 76.54(b) in consecutive years. The provisions of Section 76.54(b) therefore apply to each year's
survey. It should be noted that these types of surveys cannot be done by the affected television station, cable system
or satellite operator.
'3The Nielsen Company was previously known as Nielsen Media Research.
14Although, in general, petitioners are prohibited from using two surveys between April and September (i.e.,
May or July sweeps), we have not ruled out a petitioner providing all sweeps in a year where more than two are
submitted. See WTNH Broadcasting, Inc. and K-W TV, Inc., 16 FCC Red 6781, 6784 (2001), where the Bureau did
not reject the petition because of the inclusion of both May and July data, but only concluded that, in such a case, it
would be necessary to provide individual survey period results so that we could determine the effect of the third and
fourth sweep periods.
'5It should be noted that Nielsen identifies individual communities by zip codes, a process not incompatible
with the surveying process discussed here.
1647 C.F.R. 76.54(b). Proportionality based on population demonstrates that more weight is given to
larger communities. While there must be at least one diary from each community in each survey, there is no
minimum sample size since the standard error allows us to be sure that there is a high probability that the reported
result meets or falls below our criteria. Because Nielsen is able to weight its sampling, they can provide such
'7We expect petitioners who commission such data to include, along with the survey data itself, a
description of the procedures used to retabulate the data, which data base it is using, what communities (or zip codes)
are covered, the station(s) surveyed, and time periods covered. Because Nielsen routinely provides this information
in a cover letter along with its survey data, it is most helpful if this letter is included. That way there is no doubt that
the data was provided by Nielsen. See e.g., Radio Pery, Inc., 11 FCC Rcd 10564, 10568-9 (1996); Gulf-California
Broadcast Company, 21 FCC Rcd 3476, 3479-80 (2006). We further suggest that the petitioner make it clear that
the data they are submitting, along with the description of methodology, are as agreed on between the petitioner and
1847 C.F.R. 76.54(c). Section 76.54(c) states that "[n]otice of a survey to be made pursuant to paragraph
(b) of this section shall be served on all licensees or permittees of television broadcast stations within whose
predicted Grade B contour the cable community or communities are located, in whole or in part, and on all other
system community units, franchisees, and franchise applicants in the cable community or communities at least (30)
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 19, Pages 14991 to 15893, October 24 - November 10, 2011, book, November 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133013/m1/53/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.