MIB bows to news TV pressure, pushes TAM to delay ratings data release

19 Dec,2012

By A Correspondent


In what is clearly a case of government interference in the broadcast business, measurement agency TAM Media has been compelled by the Minister Manish Tewari-led Information and Broadcasting Ministry to not release the data for ratings for the last week as well as for around the last two months which it had agreed to not release. The other stakeholders – the IBF, ISA and AAAI – have been mute witness to the decision and chose not to take the government head-on.


While TAM spokespersons were unavailable for comment, sources tell us that news broadcasters had petitioned TAM to not release data for a while. When TAM sought the advise of other industry stakeholders, they (the other bodies) trashed the plea and chose to go ahead with the release.


However, it appears the news broadcasters were able to convince the government which used its power to push ahead with the late evening knock.


Late last night, TAM issued the following statement: “At the request of the I&B Ministry, the Government of India, and in concurrence with IBF, AAAI & ISA, we are delaying the data release to Thursday/Friday.The reason for doing so is that  the Government of India has requested us to withhold release of news channels data by two or three days.  The industry is meeting with the ministry to take a decision. Thank you for your cooperation.”


While TAM and the other industry bodies are not required to toe the government line, they chose to do so, fearing retribution in the future, an industry observer told MxMIndia.


News channels are reportedly desirous of a longer ratings-free window. They believe the current processes followed by TAM do not effectively track their viewership. However, advertisers and media agencies want the presence of a measurement currency so that they can effectively spend monies.




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