FOX is escalating its dissatisfaction with Nielsen measurement, joining execs from other networks who have already expressed public displeasure. Now Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra is taking the battle public, disclosing to Variety frustration over Nielsen's admission that in some cases measurement may be off by as much as 8% because people aren't pushing the right buttons on the people meters.
"It's so irritating how they handle these things," he said. "All evidence points to people watching more TV. Yet the numbers are going down. I'm having a hard time reconciling all of these facts
"I want to know what are they going to do about it." he said. "How are they going to fix it?"
Vinciquerra stresses he's not just speaking for Fox. He believes Nielsen is doing a disservice to broadcast and cable networks, as well as advertisers, on the eve of the upfront sales season.
The issue was serious enough that Fox execs called a meeting with Nielsen on Friday and aired their grievances. The network wasn't happy with the response.
"They didn't give an explanation," Vinciquerra said. "We need far more specifics and evidence of what's going on. Why not try to fix this going into this upfront period? We pay millions of dollars for this stuff."
Vinciquerra proposes that Nielsen should just algorithmically adjust the reporting. Read more about what he has in mind at Variety.com.