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Sky's Digital TV Joins Peoplemeter Measurement


News Release

Friday August 4 2000

Sky's Digital TV Joins Peoplemeter Audience Measurement

Television viewers watching Sky TV's digital pay television service will be included in the industry's audience measurement service for the first time when the expanded service goes live from this Sunday (6 August).

AC Nielsen, which provides the service, has added 30 homes to the existing 440 home panel to take the panel size up to 470 homes nationwide. The service covers all New Zealand and provides ongoing daily ratings data. This is the first time Sky's digital viewers have been included.

The expansion will provide consolidated data on actual viewing habits across both analogue and digital television channels reflecting the changing television landscape. The panel of 470 homes represents New Zealand both geographically and demographically and takes into account the fact that 12 per cent of all homes now subscribe to the digital satellite Pay TV service.

The composition of the panel changes constantly to reflect the dynamics of the television industry. In recent years, this has included measurement and reporting of TV4 and Prime Television.

Bruce Wallace, Executive Director of the NZ Television Broadcasters' Council, said the expansion ensures that the ratings data reflects what is happening in today's television market. "The broadcasters are funding the expansion so that advertisers and agencies can know the ratings data is providing a picture of contemporary television viewing in the home. We're not changing a tried and true method of collecting audience research but ensuring its accuracy."

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He added that the expansion had been successfully trialed over some weeks to ensure that the new technology worked to order and to build up a picture of viewing behaviour.

He said that the data collected during the trial in July had shown changes in the manner in which television is watched in households with the digital service including higher viewing levels of all television channels in digital homes.

The reporting of viewing will continue to utilise an electronic Peoplemeter system which is installed in panel homes to enable accurate monitoring of channels watched. A probe has been developed by AC Nielsen in New Zealand to provide the new data.

The probe works with the existing Peoplemeter and enables the identification of individual channels transmitted and viewed on Sky's digital service.

The standard format for reporting audience data is being adapted to accommodate the reporting of digitally delivered channels. This includes the opportunity of adding together viewing on any analogue channel with viewing of the identical channel via the digital service.

Contact: Bruce Wallace Executive Director NZTBC Ph: 09-379-2421; Mob: 025 944 853

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