Arbitron has cancelled release of September week four Portable People Meter (PPM) data for the Houston market, due to the impact of Hurricane Ike. The category two storm devastated Galveston as it made landfall on September 13 and then caused considerable damage to Houston as it moved inland. Many people fled the area, presumably including some PPM panelists, and those who stayed were, in many cases, left without electricity or phone service.
There will be no release of PPM data for the week of September 11-17. If you were in Austin last week, you no doubt ran into numerous Houston area evacuees leading their dogs through the lobby of the Hilton – so life is clearly not back to normal in Houston. Arbitron will be assessing the validity of PPM data for other weeks going forward.
The company said it intends to produce an abbreviated September 2008 Monthly PPM Report, based on the first three weeks of the scheduled report period (August 21 – September 10).
The delivery date for the abbreviated three-week report has not yet been established. The abbreviated report requires special processing and Arbitron is currently evaluating the effort required. The September 2008 Monthly PPM report is normally scheduled to deliver on October 8, 2008.
Arbitron said it is also evaluating the impact of Hurricane Ike on October PPM reporting periods. The ratings company will continue to issue status reports on upcoming deliverables as each release nears.