ACNielsen leaves Japanese TV ratings market

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TOKYO--Citing poor revenue, TV ratings company ACNielsen said it will end its Japanese TV rating service at the end of March. AC-Nielsen had operated a TV rating service in Japan, the world's second-largest TV market, since 1961.

ACNielsen Japan has been fighting a losing battle with rival Video Research for more than five years. Video Research, backed by Japan's commercial networks and advertising giant Dentsu, is the ratings agency of record in the country, while ACNielsen has become an unprofitable also-ran.

"One of the main reasons behind our decision was economic, and it had to do with the loss of key clients," says ACNielsen spokesman Tatsuzo Uewaki.

The Japanese TV networks put their backing behind Video Research in 1994 for several reasons, including the lack of satisfaction with the individual-rating, people-meter service set up by ACNielsen.

ACNielsen broke into the Japanese market as the first TV ratings agency in 1961. Although it will soon abandon its TV ratings service, Nielsen teamed with NetRatings Japan to form an Internet ratings service that started services earlier this year.

The company says it will be able to more intensely concentrate on its Net ratings operations when it steps aside from the TV ratings business in Japan.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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