News Corp., Nielsen set deal


NEW YORK -- News Corp. and Nielsen Media Research announced Wednesday an eight-year deal for audience measurement for Fox Broadcasting, Fox News, DirecTV and 46 other News Corp. units.

Financial terms of the deal weren't announced, though the one deal consolidates 150 previous contracts. This type of deal has been done with other major media companies, including NBC Universal and Time Warner.

News Corp. and Nielsen have had a contentious relationship in recent years that revolved around the introduction of Local People Meters and its accuracy in counting minority and younger audiences. Nielsen and News Corp. said in a joint statement Wednesday that they had buried the hatchet. Nielsen will provide LPM data for the 35 Fox-owned local stations.

Also included in the deal is Nielsen's $50 million commitment to programs it has instituted to increase the response rates, particularly from youth and minority communities.

Other News Corp. units involved include FX, Speed, National Geographic, Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports en Espanol and Twentieth Television.

What isn't included, according to Nielsen, is a commitment by News Corp. to participate in a burgeoning commercial ratings service. While Fox has a substantial cable channel inventory, it hasn't said whether it would participate in a Nielsen test on commercial ratings or, like NBC Uni's cable portfolio, decide to sit it out for a while until accuracy problems are ironed out.

Nielsen Media Research is owned by VNU Group, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.