FCC Changes Nielsen Data Report for Determining Carriage in TV Markets

At the FCC’s regular monthly open meeting on November 17, the Commissioners unanimously adopted a Report and Order to update its rules to identify Nielsen’s monthly Local TV Station Information Report (“Local TV Report”) as the new publication for determining a television station’s designated market area (“DMA”) for satellite and cable carriage purposes. The FCC stated:

“The Commission’s current rules require that television broadcast stations seeking carriage on a pay TV system must determine their local market by reference to the Nielsen annual Station Index Directory in combination with the Nielsen Station Index United States Television Household Estimates. The Report and Order removes these now-outdated publications from our rules and replaces them with Nielsen’s monthly Local TV Station Information Report. With the adoption of these rules, TV broadcast stations and pay TV providers will be able to determine a station’s local market, and ensure carriage of the signal to local subscribers, by referencing only this one publication.”

Also, in response to concerns raised by Commissioner Simington, the Commission committed to monitoring the broadcast audience measurement market. It encouraged stakeholders to keep the FCC apprised of changes in that market.

You may find the FCC’s decision here.