NPD denies 'media freeze' rumors

The NPD Group has asked one analyst to stop sharing data with the media, but the company says it isn't attempting to keep the information away from the press. The case of 'he-said, company-said' began this morning when MCV reported that Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter received a request to stop providing data to the press:

"NPD would appreciate it, if you and your teams refrain from providing any of our Games data directly to the media," the note reportedly read. "This includes live discussions, e-mails, and/or notes. In some cases, you may have to remove the media from your distribution lists. Should the media take issue with this, you can feel free to send them my contact information, so I can connect them with the appropriate NPD representative."

Pachter, for his part, complied with the request, saying he "will not [distribute results] going forward."

This exchange led to reports around the internet of a media freeze, and speculation that the NPD Group is attempting to block press access to the (already trimmed) monthly sales reports. The NPD Group's Anita Frazier issued a statement to Shacknews claiming the move is to assure that the numbers are accurate and presented contextually, not to keep journalists in the dark:

We have heard from our clients and retail partners that NPD information is increasingly out in the public domain without proper attribution, incorrect context and in other ways that is not in the best interest of our clients or the industry. It is our responsibility and right to manage the usage of that information, and our Financial Services clients have agreed to help us and the industry in this regard. There was no "warning" issued at all. We are not freezing out the media as it has been portrayed. Instead, we are looking to work even more directly with the media than we already do to ensure our information and insights are used responsibly.