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Nielsen Cuts Hispanic People Meter

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NEW YORK Say goodbye to Nielsen's national Spanish-language people meter panel. The Nielsen Co. said that all national Hispanic TV ratings would be produced from the same people meter sample that is used to produce ratings for non-Hispanic networks.

The move, which begins today, completes a transition that started in late 2005, when a number of Spanish-language networks began to use ratings data from the national people meter panel.

Since 1992, Nielsen has measured Hispanic networks using a separate National Hispanic People Meter panel. But with Hispanics making up an increasingly larger percentage of the population and Nielsen's panel, maintaining a separate panel made less sense.

The number of Hispanic viewers in the U.S. has risen from 22.2 million, or 9 percent of the U.S. population in 1992-93 to 38.9 million, or 14 percent in 2005-2006 TV season. The number of Spanish-language TV networks has also increased, from two to four, practically doubling the audience from 2.4 million to 4.1 million in prime time.

"By providing the marketplace with a single source of television ratings regardless of language, Nielsen will allow the television industry to evaluate both English- and Spanish-language television and audiences side-by-side," said Sara Erichson, evp, Nielsen Media Research North America.

The Nielsen Co. owns NMR and Adweek.