Measurement impasse to end with stakeholders set for a compromise

28 Jun,2013

By A Correspondent

 

There appears to be a solution emerging to the prevailing imbroglio on television viewership measurement. With many broadcasters choosing to unsubscribe to TAM ratings and some even asking the research body to not report its numbers, the pressure was on to reach a settlement that would satisfy all stakeholders.

 

While the key constituents of advertisers and media agencies who require the ratings to base their decisions, have not turned off the tap, the problem is that around 80 percent of TAM’s revenues come from broadcasters, and eventually the measurement process could have suffered if the Nielsen-Kantar Media jv was compelled to cut corners.

 

According to information received, four of the five key stakeholders of the Indian Broadcasting Federation, Indian Society of Advertisers, the Advertising Agencies Association of India and TAM have been in dialogue – formally and informally – to work out a consensus. It is not known whether the government – Doordarshan and Prasar Bharati specifically – is participating in the discussions.

 

Although there’s no clear formula arrived at the time of writing, the discussions are veering around a changed periodicity of release of numbers, a switch from cost per rating point (CPRP) for media buying and a relook at how niche channel numbers would be published.

 

While broadcasters have been adamant and have aired their grievances in the media, it is learnt that the representatives of the advertisers and media agencies too have adopted a tough stand on the issue. And even as there is agreement that broadcasters have been facing tough business conditions, there is unanimity that an independent, credible measurement system is imperative. Also, since BARC is in the process of finding vendors for measurement by early next year, it is prudent to continue with what’s around with tweaks, if necessary.

 

Broadcast industry observers also alert that whatever settlement is reached now will have far-reaching implications on the new measurement process that BARC introduces next year.

 

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