Saturday, April 2, 2016

Nielsen Wants Court To Dismiss Flinn Counterclaims

Nielsen has asked the U.S. District Court hearing its breach of contract lawsuit against Flinn Broadcasting to dismiss the counterclaims Flinn asserted in its answer to Nielsen’s complaint, according to InsideRadio.

The measurement company sued Flinn for nonpayment of $136,872.88 for PPM ratings and other services during an eight-month 2015 period and Flinn then filed a counterclaim Feb. 10.

That counterclaim alleged that Nielsen “fraudulently induced” the Memphis-based broadcaster into entering ratings agreements and then breached its contracts by publishing ratings based on what it called faulty PPM methodology.

In the filing, Nielsen says Flinn’s challenge of its survey methodology “has serious implications” because the broadcaster is essentially alleging that the ratings approach was so deficient that all of its resulting audience estimates amounted to a fraud or a breach of contact. “Flinn is attempting to transform a garden variety state law case to recover for non-payment into an attack on the method by which Nielsen prepares its estimates for major radio markets throughout the United States,” Nielsen says. Flinn is attempting to skirt its obligation to pay “by unloading a virtual kitchen sink of vague, unsupported and conclusory allegations against Nielsen,” the filing continues.

It argues that Flinn’s claims should be dismissed because they’re barred by the license agreement Flinn signed with Nielsen and that its fraud allegations lack the detail required to plead fraud under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Meanwhile, the judge in the case has set a May 11 date for a settlement conference between the two parties.

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