Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) are still trying their best to get the FCC involved in Arbitron’s implementation of the Portable People Meter. They say the risk posed to minority broadcasters and Arbitron’s failure to acquire accreditation do not add up. They believe minority broadcast revenue could take as much as a $500M annual hit if PPM goes forward.
"Noting that Arbitron is the primary provider of this ratings service that functions as currency for the entire broadcast industry, we are troubled by the ongoing commercialization of PPM despite being denied accreditation by the Media Ratings Council in both Philadelphia and New York,” wrote the senators. “Minority themed radio stations are providers of important news and critical information about issues that are vital to the people in our communities. Stations that broadcast into minority communities provide a window into their languages, views, and values that might otherwise be ignored. When we talk about these outlets, we’re not just talking about broadcasters, we’re talking about advocates—advocates our communities depend on. Unfortunately, the PPM rollout is putting the viability of many minority radio broadcasters at risk.”
RBR/TVBR observation: The FCC’s authority to intervene in this matter is questionable, and Chairman Kevin Martin’s desire to intervene is doubtful. But this issue could heat up at FCC HQ with an Obama 8th Floor in place. Stay tuned.