The Media Rating Council has given Arbitron accreditation for Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings data for television in Houston, where radio data was already accredited by the MRC. Arbitron is hailing that as a "significant milestone," while at the same time insisting that this is specialty out-of-home data for TV and that it is not out to challenge Nielsen in the TV ratings business.
Most Houston TV stations are encoding for PPM, 14 out of 17 – but those missing three are biggies, the ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. Arbitron says that is not a problem, since the other stations who are encoding are able to use the data to track their out-of-home viewing. Arbitron plans to make the TV data service available in other markets as it rolls out PPM to the top 50 radio markets. The only other one currently in operation in Philadelphia and no TV station is currently encoding there.