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December 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For decades, the Arbitron ratings have been to the radio industry what the Nielsen ratings have been to the television industry — the standard source for audience measurement. Now, if regulators approve, there will be only a single source for both radio and TV: Nielsen. The New York-based company said today (Tuesday) that it had agreed to acquire Arbitron in a cash and stock deal worth $1.26 billion. It agreed to pay $48 per Arbitron share, representing a 26-percent premium over Arbitron’s closing price on Monday. Analysts saw the deal as boosting Nielsen’s ability to measure TV viewership outside the home, where Arbitron focuses its radio analysis. In a statement, Nielsen said that “cost synergies,” largely accomplished by combining technology platforms could amount to $20 million annually. Advertising Age also observed today that the two units could end up sharing the same panels of viewers and listeners “in a way that extends media measurement accuracy in TV and radio alike.”