Arbitron still negotiating with SBS and Univision


Despite the agreement it announced with the PPM Coalition, Arbitron has not yet resolved all issues with the two largest Spanish-language radio groups, Univision Radio and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS).

Both recently began encoding for the Portable People Meter (PPM) in markets where they had either never encoded or had pulled the plug. But while Univision is now encoding in Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, San Antonio and Las Vegas, Arbitron officials confirmed in Thursday’s quarterly conference call that Univision is still not a PPM subscriber in those markets.

For its part, Univision said it would have no comment beyond what CEO Joe Uva said in the joint announcement by Arbitron and the PPM Coalition.

As for SBS, Arbitron officials said the company is continuing to bill SBS under its PPM contract. That disputed contract is still scheduled to go to arbitration next month, but an SBS source recently confirmed to RBR-TVBR that there is a tentative settlement. Still, there was apparently no final agreement for Arbitron to be able to announce with its Q1 earnings.

The legal wrangling over PPM has cost Arbitron, with legal costs in Q1 put at just over $1 million – about the same as a year earlier. Even with the PPM Coalition settlement, Arbitron is not yet saying that the legal costs will end with this current quarter, since there are still various state attorneys general to satisfy.