Will The Nielsen Spin Off Be A Hit?

It all depends on how well it handles new technologies

Any near-monopoly can expect a certain amount of bellyaching from its customers. And Nielsen Media Research Inc., which provides the television ratings on which the sale of $42 billion worth of advertisements each year is decided, is no exception. "The May sweeps were a disaster," gripes David F. Poltrack, senior vice-president for research and planning at CBS Corp. "The industry became aware just how bad a measurement service Nielsen was providing." For Nielsen, fending off such jabs has become even more critical since July 1, when it became a stand-alone public company for the first time in its 49-year history.

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