They admitted it was tampered with and promised to fix the problem. They didn't. Now they are getting their pants sued off.
Nielsen Sued for Billions for Allegedly Manipulating Television Ratings Data
Let me just preface this by saying that the lawsuit in question is being filed by an Indian television news network — New Delhi Television Limited — but the practices that Nielsen allegedly engaged in could very well be going on anywhere. If a company is willing to be corrupt in one country, there’s no reason to think that the same company wouldn’t be corrupt in another, like the United States. If so, the implications could be huge.
I won’t bore you with ALL the legal details of the case (the initial filing was 194 pages long). In short, according to THR, the Indian news station, NDTV, is alleging that Nielsen has been manipulating television ratings data for eight years, that Nielsen acknowledged as much, vowed to make changes, and did not. As a result, NDTV is suing the company for billions in damages claiming that manipulated data damaged the oldest news network in the country.
The allegations allege that Nielsen, in cost-cutting measures, drastically reduced the sample size to only 8,000 households (that’s a preposterous number given the total population of India). Of those 8,000 households, many of the Peoplemeters have been installed in the homes of government officials, who have manipulated the data to show television viewership that does not exist. Moreover, television stations are paying people with these Peoplemeters to turn their linked televisions onto their channels, even when no one is in the room to watch them (they also hit the “guest buttons” to show more people in a room than actually exist). Employees are also allegedly taking bribes in exchange for manipulating that data.