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AN UNCOMMON SENSE OF THE CONSUMER
 
  ENCODING ENGINEER BULLETIN: PPM ENCODING POLICY FOR RADIO STATIONS  
     
  Your station’s PPM codes are a key part of your station’s identity in the PPM system. Nielsen Audio will not be able to assign listening credit to your station if it is not transmitting its own PPM codes.

To help ensure that all stations transmit their own PPM codes, Nielsen Audio developed the PPM Code Policy. This policy is a cornerstone of the currency PPM service, dating back to the first PPM demonstration market. The following are reminders of key aspects of the policy:

The Policy
There are three key aspects to the unique CBET policy. An encoded station should:

  •   Transmit only its own PPM codes
  •   Refrain from providing its encoded audio to any other station for retransmission
  •   Avoid retransmitting any other station’s encoded audio

A station that installed and uses the encoding equipment according to Nielsen Audio instructions will encode in accordance with the policy.

A Nielsen Audio broadcast engineer is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to review these instructions, offer technical support, and answer any additional questions.

All Stations
The unique CBET policy applies to all radio stations that are eligible to be reported in the Nielsen Audio currency PPM services, including:

  •   AM stations
  •   FM stations
  •   HD Radio multicast stations
  •   AM, FM, and HD Radio multicast station Internet streams
  •   Simulcast stations
  •   Stations that have requested and qualify for Total Line Reporting

Each of these stations must transmit a unique CBET code.

HD1
Because your analog and HD1 signals are different signal types of the same station rather than two different stations, you may transmit the same PPM codes in both your analog and HD1 signals.

As there is no ratings benefit or business advantage for a broadcaster to encode its analog and HD1 signals separately, nearly all counterpart analog/HD1 signals transmit the same PPM codes.

Translators, Boosters, and Repeaters
Because a translator, booster, or repeater will retransmit any PPM codes that are in the transmitter’s host signal, there is no need to encode a translator, booster, or repeater with its own PPM code.

Because Nielsen Audio automatically includes audiences delivered by a translator, booster, or repeater in its host station’s audience estimates, this approach is consistent with the Nielsen Audio reporting policy.

When a Station Doesn’t Follow the Policy
If it comes to the attention of Nielsen Audio that a station did not follow the policy, Nielsen Audio will detail the specifics of the incident with a “Special Encoding Activity” notice in the Radio Market Report.

If, in the opinion of Nielsen Audio, the effect of the station not following the policy has the potential to distort the audience estimates, Nielsen Audio reserves the right to take additional action.

Emergency Simulcasts
Acknowledging that PPM encoding is unlikely to be top of mind when broadcasting during an extreme weather event, natural disaster, or civic emergency, Nielsen Audio does not consider accidentally retransmitting another station’s codes during an emergency simulcast to violate the unique CBET policy.

Testing
Shortly after you installed your station’s encoding equipment, Nielsen Audio tested your signal to verify that it included the appropriate PPM codes. You can request that Nielsen Audio replicate this test at any time. Nielsen Audio strongly recommends a new test after you make facility, signal, or encoder changes.

Additional Information
For additional information on the policies described in this bulletin, contact John Budosh at (410) 312‑8722 or john.budosh@nielsen.com or Erica Rios at (410) 312-8725 or erica.rios@nielsen.com.

Reminder—the policies described in this apply to Nielsen Audio currency PPM service. Nielsen Audio reserves the right to prospectively update, modify, or waive any of the policies described herein as appropriate in the judgment of Nielsen Audio.

Nielsen Audio Encoding Operations Contacts:
Northeast: Keith Ege – (410) 312-8794
Southeast: Greg Crouch – (410) 312-8689
Central: Chris Bryant – (410) 312-8088
West: Robert Diaz – (410) 312-8074

In the event of an encoding emergency, contact the Nielsen Audio 24/7 hotline at (866) 767‑7212.

Visit the new Nielsen Audio online space for radio station engineers at www.Arbitron.com/encoding.