Fox accused of misusing Nielsen data

NEW YORK: Fox News Channel appears to have been getting all the right publicity for making all the wrong moves in recent weeks.

NEW YORK: Fox News Channel appears to have been getting all the right publicity for making all the wrong moves in recent weeks.

NEW YORK: Fox News Channel appears to have been getting all the right publicity for making all the wrong moves in recent weeks.

The latest example comes from the week following Election Day, in which the upstart cable news operation ran an ad featuring Nielsen ratings for the night. The ad boasted that Fox was the 'no. 1 network for political coverage' and that 6.8 million viewers watched its Election Night coverage.

However, these claims were determined by the irregular - not to mention controversial - practice of combining viewership for both the Fox News cable channel and its broadcast network.

The ad has enraged Fox's competitors, who voiced their complaints to Nielsen. The ratings company was already angered by the ad, as Fox had used the information without its permission. Nielsen subsequently asked Fox to discontinue the ad.

All indications are, however, that the ad will continue to run with sources at Fox admitting that controversy has produced precisely the desired effect.

'We're in the middle of sweeps,' said a company executive quoted in The New York Times. 'Tell me the network that's been talked about most this week.'

All this comes on the heels of the Election Night controversy surrounding John Ellis, Fox's chief Election Night pollster and first cousin to presidential candidate George W. Bush. Ellis was responsible for prematurely placing Florida in Bush's win column shortly after 2 am on Election Night. The three major networks all followed suit within four minutes. Ellis is now under investigation by Fox News, although the channel has vigorously defended his role.



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