From the Wilson Center’s latest report [PDF], we read: “Media coverage is not even moderately balanced. . . . In television, the government’s predominance is overwhelming; it was estimated that by 2007 it controlled seven national television channels and 35 open community channels.”
These statements are false and misleading, but they are adopted uncritically in almost all mainstream media coverage. In fact, state TV had about 5.9 percent of the audience that watches television in Venezuela in 2009-2010. These data were gathered by AGB Panamericana de Venezuela Medición S.A., a local affiliate of Nielsen Media Research International, and are probably as reliable as Nielsen ratings in the United States. The data were collected through equipment boxes placed in each home, measuring minutes of each channel watched. A representative sample of 1000 households was constructed and data were gathered over ten years.