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Wireless Group PLC (TWG)

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Thursday 16 December, 2004

Wireless Group PLC

Update on Legal Action

Wireless Group PLC
16 December 2004

                               WIRELESS GROUP PLC
                            ('TWG' or 'the Group ')

                             UPDATE ON LEGAL ACTION

                               THE FIGHT GOES ON

Mr Justice Lloyd in the High Court today struck out The Wireless Group's action
against RAJAR for delaying the introduction of audience measurement.

However, Kelvin MacKenzie, Chairman and Chief Executive of TWG which owns the
national commercial station talkSPORT, says today: 'RAJAR may have won a legal
skirmish, but the war goes on until technology-based audience measurement is

'I note in their latest press release (see further information below) that RAJAR
are committed to bringing in meters in January 2007 - and we will make sure that
they stick to this timetable. If they fail to do so, I will have no hesitation
in starting fresh legal action. RAJAR's declared commitment to meters means that
the argument to retain diaries is over.'

In his judgment, Mr Justice Lloyd acknowledged: 'It may be fair to say that each
of the audiometers is much better than the diary system, but that does not help
with the decision which of the audiometers to adopt...'

At the hearing, Mr Justice Lloyd said: 'I suppose it could be said that both the
existing technologies, Radiocontrol's and Arbitron, are so much better than the
diary system that the decision was almost immaterial which you choose. Both
would be better but not to choose either is unreasonable.'

To which RAJAR's own barrister, Nicholas Green QC responded: 'Theoretically...'

Green also said at the hearing: 'For the purpose of the application, my client
is prepared to accept and accepts that in principle metering may be an
improvement on diaries ...'

'My client's provisional view is that it wishes to move to meters because it
believes that in the long run it will be more accurate all else being equal...'

'Its (Rajar's) mind-set, its psychology throughout has been to enable it to
introduce meters not to continue with radio diary systems...'

'When he (Professor Martin Collins, TWG's expert witness) says that diaries have
the following inherent problems, in many respects we (RAJAR) agree which is why
my client is moving towards meters...'

'If a metered system is better than a diary system and the cost benefit analysis
is worth it, then the assumption is that my clients and/or the industry will go
for that solution...'

MacKenzie continues: 'The only question was when it could be introduced - and,
thanks to our exerting the pressure of legal action, RAJAR produced a timetable
for making the switch just weeks before the strike-out hearing.

'Now we will be watching to make sure RAJAR keeps to its word. We certainly will
not be going away on this issue. For almost two years, we have proved that we
have a weekly reach that's three times bigger than diaries would have us
believe. RAJAR's diaries credit us with around 2 million adults - while GfK's
Radiocontrol watch system gives us closer to 6 million adults.'

'Right now, that means that advertisers pay for 2 million listeners on
talkSPORT, but get 6 million in reality. It's a great deal - buy one, get two
free. But it's my intention that it's a deal that will end in January 2007. Then
and only then will talkSPORT be able to trade with ratings that are accurate,
dependable and fair.'

The combined costs of the action to date, to be born by TWG, is estimated at
£700,000 which will be provided for in 2004 as an exceptional item.

                                    - Ends -

For further information, please contact:

David Rydell/ Dan de Belder/Robin Tozer
Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial     Tel: 020 7861 3232

talkSPORT Press Office                   Tel: 020 7959 7821

Further information

RAJAR PRESS RELEASE - 28 SEPTEMBER 2004 (Available from

                       RAJAR announces roadmap to change

-          Industry-wide consultation
-          Meter testing
-          Tender process

RAJAR Ltd (Radio Joint Audience Research) announces today (Tuesday September 28,
2004) it has received industry-wide backing for its roadmap to enhanced radio
audience measurement. The roadmap sets out a timeline to up-grading the current
measurement system, including the possible introduction of electronic

The schedule plans for the launch of the tender process in April 2005 and the
new contract for measurement awarded as early as September 2005.
The roadmap has been agreed by the RAJAR board (which represents BBC Radio,
Commercial Radio, the IPA and ISBA) as a realistic approach to addressing the
potential benefits of electronic measurement, whilst ensuring the integrity of
RAJAR data.

Comments Sally de la Bedoyere, managing director, RAJAR: 'The RAJAR roadmap to
enhanced radio audience measurement is ambitious, but certainly achievable. It
is the final stage of a journey RAJAR began in 2001 and it leads to a seismic
change in radio audience measurement, namely the possible move to electronic

'We are optimistic that, by 2007, we will be heralding the introduction of an
audio-meter based methodology, which measures analogue, digital, digital TV and
Internet listening and we shall continue to work vigorously in the pursuit of
this goal.

'RAJAR is tasked by its subscribers to select the very best methodology for the
radio industry, nothing less is acceptable. This is an industry-backed plan and
will mean radio groups and their commercial partners can be assured RAJAR will
continue to deliver thoroughly tested and accurate 'gold-standard' data.'
De la Bedoyere continues: 'RAJAR has been reviewing the developments in radio
audience electronic measurement since 1996 and working proactively toward the
possible introduction of audio-meters since 2001. Indeed RAJAR is the only radio
research body in the world to have tested both the Arbitron Portable People
Meter and the GfK Radiocontrol watch. This exhaustive research coupled with our
on-going consultation with subscribers and stakeholders is now bearing fruit and
in a way which is extremely positive for the radio industry.'

The RAJAR roadmap to change - the timetable

The RAJAR roadmap reveals the organisation's timetable to enhanced radio
audience measurement. It details the principle tasks RAJAR must complete from
now up until 2007 in order to achieve this goal and includes the following:

Industry-wide consultation - May to November 2004

RAJAR is to review the findings of the industry-wide consultation, which began
in May 2004 and is to report on these at the end of October or early November
2004. Reports to date show that the consultation has been warmly received by
subscribers and RAJAR has received, and is continuing to receive, a wealth of
valuable feedback on a range of issues including definitions of listening, speed
of reporting, editing rules, level of platform detail required and changes in
the radio map.

Meter tests - October to June 2005

During October to December 2004, new versions of the Arbitron Portable People
Meter (PPM) and the GfK Radiocontrol watch are to undergo a series of validation
and compliance tests. In addition, a new meter, the Eurisko Electronic Media
Monitor (EMM) developed in Italy, is to take part in these tests. From January
to June 2005 further fieldwork tests are also planned.
To date RAJAR has invested £800,000 in exhaustive and in-depth tests on the
Arbitron and GfK devices (January 2002 - March 2003). The results from these
tests raised concerns about the accuracy and the technical capabilities of both
meters as well as respondents' compliance. Both meter developers were apprised
of these concerns in mid-2003 and have been working on developing new versions
since then.

Tender process - April to September 2005

The findings for the industry-wide consultation, plus results from the
validation tests and new fieldwork tests will underpin the specification for the
new research contract. Until RAJAR has completed the industry-wide consultation,
and is satisfied with the results of the new meter tests, it is unclear what
degree of electronic methodology might be employed.

RAJAR anticipates the tender process taking place from April to September 2005.
Relevant companies are to be invited to tender in April 2005 with the new
contract being awarded in September 2005. At this point RAJAR will be in a
position to order the hardware for which there is a 4-10 month manufacturing
order time depending on the meter and the size of the operation agreed.

Final phase - 2006

The final phase will see the successful tenderer prepare for a period of
parallel runs with the diary and the selected audio-meter. RAJAR expects these
will start in April 2006.

As the vast majority of existing subscribers report from a sample accumulated
over a 6 month period, it is essential to provide a corresponding set of
results. Assuming parallel runs start in April 2006 stations would be able to
compare and analyse new data in October 2006 with a view to going live in
January 2007.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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