PPM Coalition comments on NYC encoding battle


As Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) and Arbitron battle in court on whether SBS stations have to keep encoding for Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM), the PPM Coalition, of which SBS is a member, is continuing to call for action by government officials to provide the relief being sought by broadcasters who claim PPM undercounts minorities.

“The PPM Coalition is disappointed that the New York State Court continued the injunction requiring Spanish Broadcasting System to encode its programming for Arbitron’s inaccurate ratings system. However, the Court was concerned only with the contractual relationship between the parties and could not consider the more significant issue of the decimation of diversity on the nation’s airwaves. That is why the Coalition has been looking to Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the state attorneys general to provide relief from this serious problem,” the Coalition said in a statement.

The judge in Manhattan last week ordered SBS to resume encoding for PPM on its stations in New York and elsewhere and on Tuesday continued that order pending a ruling on the validity of the contract terms or a successful mediation between Arbitron and SBS.

RBR-TVBR observation: The hope for a new approach and resolution of the PPM dispute with the arrival of new Arbitron CEO Bill Kerr seems to have vanished with the filing of this lawsuit against SBS. The new battleground is a Manhattan court room, but the skirmishes continue on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and with at least four state attorneys general.