Byron Allen Claims Nielsen TV Ratings ‘Broken’ in Fraud Suit

By Kamaron Leach

Media mogul Byron Allen claimed in a lawsuit that TV ratings company Nielsen Holdings Plc is providing “unreliable” counts of viewers, and he is seeking billions of dollars in damages.

Companies controlled by Allen, who has waged a long campaign to get major corporations to spend more on Black-owned programming, accused Nielsen of fraud and said the ratings service used to determine the price of running advertisements on TV is “outdated, unreliable and broken,” according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Chicago.

Nielsen misrepresented its ability to produce accurate ratings for Allen’s networks, even though the networks had limited distribution at the time, the lawsuit alleged. Allen Media Group, which he founded, owns Entertainment Studios Inc., The Weather Channel and dozens of network-affiliated stations. A similar suit was filed against Nielsen in 2020 over fees charged to the Weather Channel.

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