WPP moves New York Supreme Court for dismissal of NDTV lawsuit

30 Aug,2012

By A Correspondent

 

Global advertising and marketing services firm WPP has moved the Supreme Court of the State of New York for dismissal of a complaint filed by NDTV alleging TAM India of fudging television viewership and ratings data favouring some TV channels that paid bribes.

 

WPP is a shareholder in Kantar Media Research Services, which co-owns TAM India with Nielsen. NDTV had filed a lawsuit against them in late July.

 

In a motion filed on Tuesday to dismiss NDTV’s complaint, the company claimed that the “case is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the plaintiff, a television station in New Delhi, India, to drum up media coverage in India to divert attention from the real reasons its programmes have had low audience ratings and its financial performance has been abysmal for five years.

 

New Delhi TV has crossed the globe and come to New York State Supreme Court to complain about an Indian company, TAM, and how it measures the ratings of television programmes in India”.

 

It also says that the complaint should be dismissed because it was not served properly to the defendants by NDTV. “NDTV’s drafting of the complaint is as careless as its attempt at service.”

 

The motion points out that NDTV’s complaint improperly names several of the defendants and that the Supreme Court of the State of New York does not have jurisdiction over Kantar India, which is an Indian company with no presence in the US.

 

The lawyers also filed similar motions on behalf of other defendants in the case, including Nielsen, Kantar, TAM India and IMRB.

 

The motion will be taken up for hearing on September 13. NDTV declined to comment as the matter is in court. The broadcaster has filed the lawsuit seeking damages of around $1.4 billion for negligence and hundreds of millions more for interference and breach of fiduciary duty on the part of TAM India, and other parties named in the suit.

 

NDTV claimed that TAM India has been manipulating television viewership data and ratings to favour some television channels. It also claimed that it had confronted Nielsen with evidence of data manipulation, including taped meetings with TAM India employees, which showed that they were willing to tamper data for bribes.

 

Nielsen, according to the news network, admitted in meetings and through emails that its data was indeed being manipulated and that it was willing to address the issue by July 1, 2012, but Nielsen continued to publish these ratings despite repeated demands to stop distribution of TAM TV ratings until the sample size was increased and a proper security mechanism was put in place.

 

 

Source:The Economic Times

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

 

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