US Senator Conrad Burns has introduced the Fairness, Accuracy, Inclusivity and Responsiveness in Ratings (FAIR Ratings) Act to strengthen existing private sector oversight of US TV ratings. The move reflects the Senator's feeling that Nielsen Media Research has not co-operated sufficiently with the current authority.
Back in April, the US Federal Trade Commission announced that self-regulation via the Media Rating Council (MRC) appeared to be working. However, Burns believes the system is being frustrated by what he refers to as Nielsen's 'reluctance to submit to the authority of the MRC'. The senator says his proposed legislation 'will reaffirm the same standard that was intended by Congress and the television industry over forty years ago when MRC was first established'.
Burns denies that the Bill is specifically an attack on Nielsen or an attempt to introduce government regulation. He stated: 'It has become clear that the MRC lacks the authority to enforce its standards. Since Nielsen will not agree to the private industry process voluntarily, we have no choice but to step in.'
The homepage for Nielsen Media Research is at www.nielsenmedia.com