As time ticks on measurement guidelines, will TAM take MIB to court?

20 Jan,2014

By A Correspondent


With the government guidelines notified on January 16, the time’s literally ticking for TAM and the entire prevailing broadcast ecosystem.


Thanks to the persistent demands of broadcasters – especially those representing news channels – to police TAM, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been on an overdrive on the issue of measurement guidelines. The perception created is that news channels are required to sensationalise to score high ratings and the government, in its effort to to keep newswallahs happy and in check in an election year, is on an overdrive. How the ratings scenario will change in the new BARC-administered regime beats us, but what we do learn is that existing player TAM is contemplating taking the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to court.


The plea will most likely be that it cannot comply with the requirements on ownership within 30 days so it needs to be given time. The advertisers, media agencies and select advertisers too believe that a measurement-free regime will be counter-productive. Some advertisers in fact believe a measurement blackout will force them to review their spends on television.


According to the grapevine, TAM’s co-owners had some concerns on taking the Court route. Nielsen, we were told, was averse to litigation, while Kantar wanted it. Both Nielsen and WPP, the owners of Kantar, have steady businesses in India and there’s a concern on how taking on the government could impact its relations with the government. Industry veterans though site several instances when relations with government hasn’t been impacted by legal tangles.


Meanwhile, even as you read this, BARC has convened a press conference in Mumbai to make some significant announcements – possibly the name of the vendor – Mediametrie or Nielsen.


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