AAAI, ISA to meet TAM on Aug 16 as MIB, Prasar Bharti mull probe

08 Aug,2012

By A Correspondent


The ministry of information & broadcasting and Prasar Bharati will jointly investigate allegations of fudging of television viewership by TAM Media Research. The two have also sought an explanation from TAM on this issue.


Prasar Bharati, which believes that the TAM data completely under-represents terrestrial and rural reach of Doordarshan – the state broadcaster, is holding consultation with the ministry and contemplating appropriate action against TAM, a senior government official, who asked not to be named, said.


“It is high time transparency and fairness came into the system,” the Information & Broadcasting ministry official said. The ministry has written to TAM asking for an explanation. “Within this week, we are also sending out reference letters to TRAI, the telecom regulator, and Competition Commission of India,” the official added.


The Prasar Bharati board has already given in-principle approval to collate facts, seek legal opinion and hold consultations with the ministry on the issue of misrepresentation and under-reporting of data for Doordarshan by TAM.


“Prasar Bharati also feels that TAM data completely under-represents terrestrial and rural reach of Doordarshan. We always felt that this has caused immense losses to the state broadcaster,” said the person.


TAM Media Research India’s chief executive officer, LV Krishnan, said he has no comments to offer on the issue.


New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has sued The Nielsen Company, a global research and information firm, and its partner Kantar Media Research in a New York court for tampering with TV viewership data to favour broadcasters who allegedly bribed executives in its Indian JV, TAM.


NDTV has filed a suit in the New York State Supreme Court seeking damages of around $1.4 billion for negligence and fraud and hundreds of millions more for interference and breach of fiduciary duty. Advertisers and media agencies depend on TAM data-the only available measurement for TV viewership – to negotiate ad rates.


Meanwhile, concerned by NDTV’s allegations on TAM, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) has called for a meeting with TAM officials later this week. “We are meeting the TAM officials to get the facts rights and understand the issue in the right perspective,” said Arvind Sharma, president, AAAI. The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) would be attending the meeting, which has been scheduled for August 16, 2012.


“Since advertising agencies are involved in media planning and buying, which is dependent on TAM ratings, we need to know if there is anything to be concerned about,” said Mr Sharma.


Advertisers also say that it was time for media buying agencies to stop relying only on TAM. “Our media buying agencies depend on the ratings provided by TAM. The onus is on marketers to demand from the agencies basis at which they have been spending the advertisers’ money. There have been issues like TAM’s sample size, but over a period of time lethargy had set in,” said Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV.


Source: The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.