Arbitron Commercializes PPM in 8 Markets

NEW YORK Arbitron said that it has commercialized its portable people meter radio ratings services in eight new markets, two days before the originally scheduled date of Oct. 8.

The research firm also announced that it has asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against the Attorney General for the State of New York to prevent any attempt to restrain Arbitron’s publication of its portable people meter listening estimates.

On Friday, the New York Attorney General said it would file suit against Arbitron to stop the company’s rollout of the PPM, giving the research firm five days to respond.

Arbitron released radio audience estimates for the September 2008 PPM survey month (Aug. 21-Sept. 17) to its subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Riverside-San Bernardino and San Jose. The July and August PPM survey months, which Arbitron had previously released as “pre-currency” information, are now designated as “currency” data. The spring 2008 diary-based radio audience report (April 3-June 25) is no longer deemed “currency” for buy/sell transactions.

Arbitron stated that any restraint on the publication of its PPM listening estimates would have an adverse impact on the radio broadcast and advertising industries, would cause its business to suffer severe irreparable harm, would cause economic injury to its shareholders, and violates the company’s First Amendment rights to publish its radio audience listening estimates.

Among other things, Arbitron is seeking the following relief:

— A judgment declaring that the publication of its PPM listening estimates is fully protected by the U.S. and New York Constitutions

— A preliminary and permanent injunction along with a temporary restraining order enjoining the New York Attorney General from attempting to restrain or prevent Arbitron from publishing its PPM listening estimates.